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Toronto woman says she was sexually harassed by real estate agent while looking for an apartment – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News

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A Toronto woman is sharing her story after she says she was sexually harassed by a real estate agent while looking for a rental apartment in the city.

Originally from Belleville, Ont., Alyssa Graham made the move to downtown Toronto in 2014 and has been living there ever since.

Graham said she started searching for a new place in mid-January, with plans to move in on Feb. 1.

“This certain property that I wanted was listed on Zolo.ca. So I just reached out to them and asked them if it was still available,” Graham told CTV News Toronto.

From there, Graham said she was paired up with a real estate agent who was “very confident” he could find her a place by her desired move-in date.

And while her first pick for a rental property fell through, Graham said she agreed to work with the agent on a go-forward basis.

That’s when things started to get weird, she said.

Realtor

Graham said she noticed that some of the texts and phone conversations with the agent were “rather flirty.”

“I answered the phone and I said ‘hello’ and he said ‘you sound so sexy when you answer the phone.’”

Nonetheless, Graham said she agreed to meet the agent for a showing at another unit as she was desperate for housing, chalking up his unorthodox approach to being part of his “spiel.”

“This was our first time meeting. He kept calling it a date, he kept asking when we were going to make out, he offered to pay $500 a month in rent for me.”

“When we were leaving the unit, he shut all the lights off and the door was locked. We’re in a pitch-black apartment, I can’t even see my hand in front of me. I’m trying to find a door to get out, but I can’t see anything.”

When the real estate agent eventually did turn the lights back on, Graham said she was eager to remove herself from the situation, but that he continued his advances.

Graham explained that following the showing, the agent was insistent on driving her home and that he would “not take no for an answer.”

She said she apprehensively accepted the offer and was dropped off at a nearby hotel, where she had been staying while in between apartments.

“He dropped me off and was like ‘so can I get a kiss?’” she said. Graham quickly refused and then made her way into the hotel.

The agent then called her asking if he should come up to her room and offered to “get a place for the night” if she was interested, Graham alleges.

After a number of unanswered texts and phone calls from the agent later — where Graham says he claimed that he couldn’t help being attracted to his client — Graham said she decided to report the incident to his employer, Zolo.

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“I told them everything that happened, that I don’t think he submitted any offers for me, that he wasted a month of time, cost me money, scared me, made me incredibly uncomfortable, etc.” Graham said.

Graham admits that she was originally nervous to submit the complaint as it would likely result in his termination and that the agent was aware of where she was living.

She said she was assured by the company that she “should be fine” because Zolo has “screenings for things like that.”

“We would have caught that,” she said she was told.

In a statement issued to CTV News Toronto on Thursday , Zolo president Mustafa Abbasi said the company acted quickly to address the issue.

“In January 2021, Zolo received a complaint from a customer regarding their interaction with an agent. We acted swiftly and in accordance with our zero-tolerance policy, terminating the agent effective immediately, within 24 hours of receiving the complaint,” the statement reads.

But Graham said that weeks later, the agent reached back out to her asking for her to retract her complaint so that he could be reinstated.

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She refused, but agreed to speak with his boss in exchange for compensation for the money paid to cover her hotel expenses.

“We signed a contract for this, which was also sent to his boss, and I spoke with his boss, and they reinstated him.”

Graham said the agent agreed to pay her $1,500 to cover those expenses, of which he has paid $150.

“I’ve contacted him about the payments countless times, which I don’t like doing as this man made me feel very uncomfortable in the past, he’s now claiming he’s not paying me and has blocked my emails and texts,” she said.

However, in a follow up statement to CTV News Toronto, Abbasi claimed that the agent was not reinstated following his termination adding that he is “no longer affiliated with Zolo in any way.”

With relief, Graham said she was finally able to find an apartment with a female real estate agent and is set to move out of the hotel on March 1. But she says that the “nightmare” experience has left its mark.

“With COVID-19, it’s been hard for everyone, but I’ve had some pretty rough days and he [the real estate agent] knows about those too and he was still giving me the runaround and I guess, just saw me as a piece of ass.”

“I thought I was talking to someone who was genuinely trying to help me, and it turned out not to be the case whatsoever.” 

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Hot real estate market sparks warnings to potential buyers as complaints to regulator double

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As home sales in the province continue on a dizzying trajectory, the province’s real estate watchdog and regulator are warning buyers to be wary of what they may be getting into.

The Real Estate Council of B.C. (RECBC) and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate said that in the first three months of 2021, they have seen an increase in inquiries and complaints.

Calls to the regulator were up 42 per cent over the previous year, while complaints, such as how offers were made and accepted, were double the number received in the same period in 2020.

“Buying a home is one of life’s biggest financial decisions. There are potential risks at the best of times, but with the added pressure and stress of the current market conditions, those risks are amplified,” Micheal Noseworthy, superintendent of real estate, said in a statement.

 

 

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says sales in the region have continued at a record-setting pace.

Residential home sales covered by the board totalled 5,708 in March 2021, up 126.1 per cent from March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and up 53.2 per cent from February of this year.

Rural and suburban areas have experienced the biggest spikes.

For the past two weeks, Jay Park has been in the middle of the buying frenzy.

He and his partner are trying to upgrade from their one-bedroom apartment to a two-bedroom condo or townhouse in Vancouver.

“I wish we had done this a month or two ago,” he said.

 

A condo tower under construction is pictured in downtown Vancouver in February 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

 

Park put an offer on a $1-million condo, $4,000 above asking price.

“To entice the [seller], we put in a subject-free offer, but it wasn’t successful,” he said. “They accepted $110,000 over asking price that was also subject-free.”

The hot market has led to bidding wars. Some would-be buyers have even lined up outside for days to try to get a jump on a property.

Erin Seeley, the CEO of the council, is warning buyers to do their research and be aware of risks before making an offer.

“It’s really important that buyers have engaged with their lender before they’re making offers so they know how to stay within a reasonable budget,” she said.

Seeley said some of the complaints the council has heard from buyers is that they weren’t aware the seller has a right to take an early offer.

“And the seller was really in the driver’s seat about setting the pricing,” she said.

 

Demand continues to outstrip supply for housing in cities like Vancouver. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

 

Aaron Jasper, a Vancouver realtor, advises clients to avoid cash offers and to include finance clauses even if it may mean they lose a deal.

“There’s a lot of frustration among buyers, feeling pressure to take some risk,” he said.

“You’re better to be delayed perhaps a year getting into the market as opposed to being completely financially ruined.”

Jasper also says realtors are limited in the advice they can give to clients on legal matters, home inspections, potential deficiencies with homes, and financing.

‘Caught up in the craziness’

Other tips from the council include seeking professional advice before making a subject-free offer or proceeding without a home inspection, and speaking to a professional to determine how market conditions may be affecting prices.

Meantime, people like Jay Park say they are still keen to buy. Park has more viewings scheduled and is optimistic.

“It’s a very exciting time for us, but I also don’t want to get caught up in the craziness and make a purchase that’s above our means.”

Source: – CBC.ca

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Black Press Media introduces one of Western Canada's best real estate platforms helping home buyers Find. Love. Live. that new home – Aldergrove Star

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Need an agent who knows the community?

Or, is it time to look for a new place to live, but you don’t know what’s on the market?

Whatever the real estate need is for residents in the communities of British Columbia, Yukon & Alberta, there’s a new way to do that one-stop shopping – by visiting Today’s Home.

The slogan for the site is “Find. Love. Live.”

“We want people to find their dream home, love it, and live in it,” said group publisher Lisa Farquharson.

Building on the success of Black Press Media’s niche digital platforms – Today’s Home brings the same wealth of knowledge and local expertise to the search for a home, be it buying, selling, or even just daydreaming about what changes you can make in the future.

Search hundreds of listings that local real estate agents have available.

The listings cover properties around the region, from a one-bedroom, one-bath condo for $339,900 to million-dollar acreages throughout the province of BC, Yukon, Central Alberta and beyond.

Click on a listing, and see not only the realtor handling the property sale, but links to his or her other listings and social media feeds. With the click of a mouse, take a virtual tour of the property, find the property’s walking score, and learn about nearby amenities.

There are links available to schedule a showing, or send the agent a comment or question.

Want to share a listing? When you click on the share button, you’ll actually send an attractive digital flyer of the prospective property, not just a link.

There’s even a button to help determine how much you have to spend, courtesy of the convenient mortgage calculator.

Plus, scroll down the page on Today’s Home and find a list of expert local real estate professionals who can answer questions or help with that home sale, Farquharson explained.

Today’s Home offers the advantage of the massive reach that Black Press Media has built throughout Western Canada with its network of community newspapers and online products. That allows the public to tailor real estate searches based on location, price, and other key factors while allowing real estate professionals to gain unprecedented audience reach with their listings.

Today’s Home will dovetail into the media company’s existing print real estate publications.

“Black Press Media has real estate solutions in print and now we can add in the digital component,” Farquharson said.

Watch for expansion of the Today’s Home platform in the near future, she added. That will come as Black Press Media adds a new component – the development community. Developers will be able to reach a huge audience when their projects are ready for presentation.

For information on Today’s Home, contact group publisher Lisa Farquharson at 604-994-1020 or via email.

Happy house hunting!

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PGIM Real Estate, Revera Affiliate Target UK Market in Newly Formed JV

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Real Estate Sales In September

PGIM Real Estate has been active in recent months providing capital to facilitate blockbuster senior housing acquisitions. Now the firm is looking to capitalize on demand for senior housing in the United Kingdom.

The Madison, New Jersey-based real estate investor and lender announced this week it is entering into a joint venture with Signature Senior Lifestyle, an affiliate of Revera, to develop and operate senior housing communities around greater London

Mississauga, Ontario-based Revera serves 20,000 older adults in long-term care homes and retirement residences in Canada. It is also the majority shareholder of Sunrise Senior Living, one of the largest senior housing providers in the U.S. The company operates a portfolio of 12 communities in the U.K. under the Signature Senior Lifestyle brand, with one community in development that is slated to open in autumn 2021.

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The JV has one development underway — a senior housing community, or “prime care” home, in southwest London. PGIM worked with Elevation Partners, a London-based investor and asset manager in U.K. health care real estate, in sourcing, structuring and executing the venture. Additionally, PGIM will retain the firm to leverage its expertise.

PGIM and Revera did not respond to requests for comment from Senior Housing News regarding details about its development pipeline.

London is emerging as a future hotbed of senior housing development, spurred by favorable demographic growth trends and a lack of available supply, and the PGIM-Revera venture will find competition.

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Maplewood Senior Living CEO Gregory Smith told SHN last month that demand for U.K. senior housing is comparable to major U.S. markets such as New York and San Francisco, where supply has historically been constrained.

Maplewood and its investment partner, Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE: OHI) are looking to expand its luxury Inspir brand to the U.K., and identified five suburban markets around London with high barriers to entry that are favorable for the brand’s growth.

Revera CEO Tom Wellner sees similar untapped upside potential for senior housing in the U.K.

Source: – Senior Housing News

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