A Richmond realtor has been fined after tricking a buyer to display a New Coast Realty “sold” sign outside the property for a year.
Xinwei (Sylvie) Zhao, who worked under the New Coast Realty banner, was fined $2,000 last Friday by the Real Estate Council for BC.
According to information released by the council following a disciplinary hearing, Zhao informed the buyer’s agent that the offer on the property would only be presented and accepted by the seller if the buyer agreed to put a New Coast Realty “sold” sign on the property for one year.
She did so, according to the council, “without the seller’s consent or knowledge, and on the instructions of her team leader.”
“Despite receiving direction from her managing broker not to do so, Ms. Zhao prepared an addendum to the contract in an effort to document what should have been a separate agreement between her, the team leader, and the buyer,” the findings added.
“This addendum stated that the buyer agreed to have the New Coast Realty sold sign placed on the property for one year.
“Ms. Zhao obtained the signature of the buyer only on the addendum, despite it forming part of the contract. This was an improper way of documenting this agreement.”
The council stated that Zhao contravened the Real Estate Services Act, section 35(1)(a) which deals with misconduct by a licensed agent.
As well as the fine, the council ordered Zhao pay enforcement expenses of $1,500 to the council and, within three months, review with her managing broker several sections of the rules and, subsequently, prepare and submit to the chair of the council a statement which demonstrates what she has learned from the incident and how it will guide her practice in the future.
As Zhao has a personal real estate corporation, the licence of Sylvie Zhao Personal Real Estate Corporation has also been reprimanded.