It’s a tale of two reports, both from an independent advisory group looking at allegations made against British Columbia’s real estate industry to the Chair of the Real Estate Council of B.C.
The group chaired by real estate superintendent Carolyn Rogers was appointed by the council in February to improve consumer protection and strengthen public confidence in the real estate industry.
This month, Rogers penned two reports to Real Estate Council of B.C. Chair Marylou Leslie.
Neither report has definitive answers on how to stop realtors from unethically profiting by flipping home sales contracts before the closing date.
While both reports reaffirm concerns over shadow flipping, the report dated April 8 admits the advisory group had met only three times, not enough to make any initial recommendations.
“It just doesn’t seem like a lot of work is being done,” NDP housing critic David Eby said.
A follow-up report dated April 12 omitted the fact that the advisory group’s first two meetings were spent with the real estate council it’s supposed to investigate, hearing presentations on how the regulatory system works and where the gaps may be.
“I don’t quite understand how they reconcile that independent role with the fact that two out of their three meetings have been briefings by the real estate council,” Eby said.
The advisory group will be focusing on the abuse of assignment contracts and double-ended deals where a realtor represents both buyer and seller. It will also look at stiffer penalties, regulatory overlap with real estate boards and associations, and whether the Real Estate Council of B.C. can continue to self-regulate.
There are no names of crooked realty firms in either report, nor are there numbers showing how often shadow flipping really occurs.
Those questions are left for the Real Estate Council of B.C.
“It is the council’s practice to publish any disciplinary decisions publicly,” Rogers said.
A final report with recommendations is due in early June.
The reports can be viewed here.
– With files from