New shadow flipping rules welcomed in Fraser Valley

Local realtors agree that something must be done about skyrocketing prices

  • Apr. 1, 2016 5:00 p.m.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board welcomes new regulations to limit 'shadow flipping

The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board welcomes new regulations to limit 'shadow flipping

By Kelvin Gawley

The president of the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB), unlike his Vancouver counterpart, is not concerned about how recent rhetoric from the premier may be painting realtors in a negative light.

Last week, The Province reportedly obtained a letter which Darcy McLeod, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV), sent to Premier Christy Clark. The letter expressed concern in announcing new legislation which would limit the practice of so-called shadow flipping when an agent resells a property before a deal has closed, for personal profit.

McLeod’s letter reportedly claimed that the REBGV has yet to receive any formal complaint and that Clark’s accusations of real estate agents being motivated by “naked greed” were unfair.

Charles Wiebe, president of the FVREB, said he welcomes Clark’s new legislation and does not share McLeod’s concern about his agents being given a bad name in the media.

“We welcome moves by the B.C. government to protect the public and we’re also watching for the recommendations of the Real Estate Council of B.C.,” said Wiebe, referring to an independent review currently underway, which is expected to come forward with proposals on how to control B.C.’s out-of-control housing market.

Wiebe said that his board has received complaints of shadow flipping in recent weeks, which are under investigation. He said if wrongdoing is found, agents could face fines and suspensions and would also be reported to the provincial real estate council.

The FVREB had a record-setting month in sales in February, with 2,387 in that month alone, an increase of 79 per cent over February 2015.

Home prices also increased significantly in the last year in the Fraser Valley, with the benchmark price of a single-family detached home reaching $714,000, a 23 per cent increase over the same month in 2015.

“This is a fast-paced market and unfortunately there are some who are going to take advantage of that,” said Wiebe. “As in all professions real estate as well there are individuals who seek to work beneath the expected standards of conduct, which is why we strongly recommend that buyers and sellers research and understand the agency relationship that they have.”