Lethbridge real estate agent fined $24000 - Canadanewsmedia
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Lethbridge real estate agent fined $24000

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Lethbridge real estate

The RECA oversees all real estate agents in Alberta, all provincial mortgage brokers, and real estate appraisers. The organization’s mandate is to protect the public, and to create a regulated environment that people can trust.

He says the organization can hold disciplinary hearings for complaints that come in either from the public or from anyone else. If necessary, fines or administrative penalties are levied, or if conduct has been found to breach Real Estate Act rules- for more serious matters, it can go to a hearing, which can result in things like the suspension of their license, mandatory education, or fines.

A summary (as it appears in the RECA July case summaries) of the three offences levied against Lyons are as follows:

1) Before eliciting or as soon as possible upon receiving confidential information from any person concerning that person’s real estate needs, motivation, financial qualifications or in any event before entering into a service agreement, an industry member must disclose in writing to that person whether the industry member is acting in the trade or anticipated trade on behalf of any other person, in any capacity [s.55(1) of the Real Estate Act Rules] • Mr. Lyons acted as a representative in a real estate transaction for both the buyer and the sellers of the property • Mr. Lyons informed the sellers he had buyers • Mr. Lyons negotiated with both parties and the transaction was completed • Mr. Lyons did not disclose in writing to any of the parties the nature of the services he was providing, or on whose behalf he was acting in the trade or anticipated trade, or any other facts which may have influenced either the buyers or the sellers • $4,500 Industry members must disclose their role in writing in any transaction. In this case, the associate should have disclosed to both the seller and the buyer his role in the transaction.

2) An industry member shall not provide any services to the client or potential client in a trade or anticipated trade in which the industry member has, or will have, a conflict of interest without receiving the written and informed consent of the party [s.54(3) of the Real Estate Act Rules] • Mr. Lyons had previously acted as a representative in real estate transactions for each of the buyers and sellers of the property • Mr. Lyons informed the sellers that he had potential buyers • Mr. Lyons referred to the prospective buyers as clients and showed them the property • Mr. Lyons received multiple competing offers • Mr. Lyons informed the sellers of the offers and was informed to counter back with the highest offer • Mr. Lyons provided no written or informed consent regarding the conflict of interest in relation to any services he provided to any of the parties • $4,500 Industry members must disclose any conflict of interest and obtain the written and informed consent of all parties to continue providing services. In this case, the associate had previous relationships with numerous potential buyers and the sellers, requiring written consent from all parties in order to continue their relationship with the associate.

3) No industry member shall solicit, accept or receive from the public or from the industry member’s client money or other consideration except in the usual course of carrying on the business of an industry member [s. 18(1) of the Real Estate Act] • no industry member shall receive money in the course of carrying on business as an industry member unless, before receiving the money, the industry member has entered into a service agreement with the person who provides the money or on whose behalf it is to be held that expressly acknowledges the trust arrangement between them and sets out the terms on which the money will be received, held and disbursed [Real Estate Act s. 18(2)] • Mr. Lyons provided a handwritten purchase contract for a property and witnessed the buyer’s signature on the contract • the handwritten contract contained no information for both the buyer and seller representative • Mr. Lyons’ brokerage later discovered a typed purchase contract with Mr. Lyons signature that included the following term: • seller to pay commissions upon closing of house of the sum of 3% of selling price to Brad Lyons • the brokerage informed Mr. Lyons that commissions could not be received like this and that all paperwork is required to go through the brokerage • the transaction completed and Mr. Lyons received a commission check worth $11,497.50, which he deposited into his personal account • Mr. Lyons has taken no steps to remedy his non-compliance • $15,000 All transactions must go through the brokerage, including all commissions and paperwork. Mr. Lyons drafted terms to receive money directly from a client, and he received that money without entering into a service agreement, and in direct opposition to instructions clearly communicated to him by his brokerage.

They can be found on the RECA’s website here: https://www.reca.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/July-Case-Summaries.pdf

When reached for comment, Lyons told LNN that under the advice of his brokerage, he would not be commenting, and additionally, the incidents occurred about 10 years ago. It’s not clear why, if the offences occurred a decade ago, the punishments were only administered a few months ago.

Douey says each agent has 30 days to appeal the fine from the date that it’s levied, and to request a hearing. During that time, the fine does not have to be paid. In Lyons’ case, that has not been done. It’s not clear whether the $25,000 in fines have been paid.

More details on the particulars of the fines can be found here: https://www.reca.ca/complaints-discipline/decisions-appeals/

Douey adds that fines are quite common and it would be strange to go for a week or two without an administrative penalty coming down. However larger fines are less common.

“We receive 1,000 complaints a year. Not all of those eventually result in a penalty. Some of them might not be in our jurisdiction, or there’s no evidence or things like that. But most administrative penalties are smaller in nature.”

Although any licenced realtor, mortgage broker, property manager and real estate appraiser can be searched on the site, records only go back about two years. It’s not clear whether any other Lethbridge realtor has faced large fines.

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Peer-to-peer online real estate platform launched

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A Calgary entrepreneur has launched an innovative real estate company offering made-in-Alberta technology for homebuyers and sellers in Calgary and Edmonton.

Bōde is an online peer-to-peer platform directly connecting buyers and sellers so they can work out a deal on their own time and on their own terms, without a real estate agent, thus saving consumers money.

“There is a lot of supply in the Alberta market right now and people are motivated to keep as much of their home value as possible,“ said Robert Price, CEO of Bōde. “So, the timing is ideal because the cost savings are dramatic, and the result is that homes sell faster, buyers pay less and sellers make more.

“It’s creating a direct relationship in a similar way that Autotrader or Airbnb or Amazon or eBay or a number of other very successful software services have to establish a more efficient and more customer-centric experience and eliminate the need for agents to middleman the process.”

Price said the  listing service is aimed at a large and growing market of digital consumers who are already comfortable making large purchases online.

Robert Price
CEO of Bōde

“The buyer can save money on an offer. The seller can price more competitively and still make the same amount or more. And the home sells faster. So we really see it as a competitive advantage versus the vast majority of the market that’s still doing it with the traditional four per cent commission structure. We’re at one per cent so 75 per cent cheaper,” he said.

“We’ve built what we’re calling the Bōdiverse, which is a marketplace of experts who are offering services that you need to be successful in the process. Lawyers, inspectors, appraisers, stagers, all those competencies that you need. You’re able to transact with them knowing their pricing.”

The real estate platform charges a flat one per cent fee once a property sells.

The process begins by a seller listing a property on the website, which takes about 15 minutes. Once it’s listed, the company will directly market that listing through other channels, including Realtor.ca, Zillow and 30 other websites, including Facebook Marketplace and Kijiji.

The system includes ways to make offers on properties and sign contracts, with a checklist to close with lawyers and transfer of fees.

Price said a model has been created that doesn’t require any human intervention from the start to the finish, just people’s interaction with the platform.

“We believe that homeowners are the true experts on their homes. Once people are armed with robust information and the tools to simplify the process, they are fully willing and capable to take the reins on real estate transactions,” said Price.

“We love Alberta and our family has been proud to be leaders in the pursuit of a diversified economy that does not simply rely on energy tax revenue. We have the experience that tells us when you create the right customer-centric answer, it becomes exportable. We want to prove that it works here and take it across Canada and beyond.”

Price said the company is planning to expand across the province in the coming weeks and upon that success, expand across Canada and internationally.

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Blackstone raises $20.5 billion for largest ever real estate fund

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U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group Inc said on Wednesday it has raised the largest ever real estate fund, amassing $20.5 billion to be invested in property assets around the world.

Large buyout firms such as Blackstone have been attracting a lot of capital from investors seeking higher returns not available in public markets.

The capital ready to be deployed has swollen to over $2 trillion, according to data provider Prequin, driving up asset prices and deal making activity.

Blackstone said in a statement the fund, named Blackstone Real Estate Partners IX (BREP IX), has already made its first investment: the purchase of U.S. industrial warehouse properties from Singapore-based logistics provider GLP for $18.7 billion.

The deal, in which BREP IX co-invested with other Blackstone funds, was announced in June and is expected to close in coming weeks, the company said.

Blackstone is the world’s largest alternative asset manager and one of the biggest property investors, with $154 billion in real estate assets under management. (Reporting by Chibuike Oguh; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Real estate lessons to live by Pattie Lovett-Reid

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Real estate lessons

Disclaimer: I’m not a real estate expert but I am a real estate junkie.

I’ve often thought about the many ways there are to make money – and there are many. Throughout the years, we have created side hustles, worked hard at our jobs, built an investment portfolio and we have bought and sold a lot of real estate.

We love real estate, and over the past 25 years, we have bought and sold six principle residents and six recreational properties. The majority of our housing transactions made money, and we broke even on a couple. There have also been lessons learned along the way.

Here are a few.

1. Listen to the experts. They are qualified in their field so believe them when they say location sells. Try not to be the most expensive house on the street and don’t let your emotions drive your buying or selling decisions.

2. Don’t fall in love with your assets, or in this case, your home. Sometimes you need to make tough decisions financially and that may mean selling the family home. Your assets will never love you back but your family will.

3. When selling, don’t be greedy. If your home isn’t selling, it is priced too high. Listen to what prospective buyers are silently telling you as they move on and check out the next listing.

4. Get your home ready to sell as soon as you move in. Life has a funny way of throwing you a curve ball when you least expect it. Curb appeal matters but the inside likely matters more. This is where you live. Keep it neutral and up to date. Look at your home as a prospective buyer would.  Small changes can yield big financial results.

5. Avoid concentration risk. Don’t put all your money in the real estate basket.

6. Take the time to save up the down payment. Consider all-in and all-out costs such as insurance, appraisals, real estate, moving, land transfer costs and the dreaded unknown repairs. There will always be something that requires your financial attention.

7. Don’t buy beyond your means. I’ve been there and it isn’t fun. No one wants to be 100 per cent house poor. You aren’t expected to be flush with cash when you are new homeowner but you also don’t want to live life worrying about the next mortgage payment each month.

8. Buy low and sell high. Even if you love real estate you are always scouting out new opportunities, this investment mantra still must hold true.

9. Focus on your stage of life. Do you really want to be building your dream home for your family as your children head off to university or are beginning to build their own lives under their own roof? Just because you want your family there doesn’t mean they will be. Buy for reality not dreams.

10. Put in offers earlier in the week. You are more likely to have less competition and more likely to get a deal if you do. Everyone is out   looking on the weekends. Don’t follow the herd mentality.

11. Take advantage of the capital gains exemption on your principle residence. This is one of the best tax-savings opportunities to create wealth I know.

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