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Two B.C. real estate agents fired in wake of sexual assault allegations – PrinceGeorgeMatters.com

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Warning: This story contains graphic material that may be disturbing.

Glacier Media has learned two Victoria real estate agents have been fired following sexual assault allegations made against them.

The allegations have been raised by a community member and were first posted to a social media account Wednesday night.

At the time of the alleged 2018 incident, both men worked for the Engel & Volkers real estate company. The two individuals were employees at The Agency, a luxury real estate brokerage and lifestyle company, until today.  

The woman, whose identity is being protected, tells Glacier Media she agreed to meet just one of the men but both of them were there.

“They were outside the restaurant together and said they already paid their bill and wanted to go somewhere else,” she says. “Then one of them mentioned, ‘Oh, [I] have to stop by our office quickly and scan something for a deal.’”

She claims they offered her wine and cocaine while inside the business. 

“I don’t do any cocaine. That was not something I partake in. Within probably 15 or 20 minutes, I don’t remember anything. Everything went black.”

When she woke up, she claims she was laid back in an office chair.

“My head was off to the side and one of them was to my side trying to put his genitals in my mouth. I remember lifting my arm and it felt so heavy to lift my arm,” she says. “I went to go stand up and my pants were down around my ankles so I fell down.”

She claims to have blacked out again and when she woke up, the two men were allegedly both performing sexual acts on her. 

“I went to stand up and said I was going to be sick,” her post online read. “I don’t remember but they must have moved me to the bathroom because I woke up by the toilet alone.”

In an email to Glacier Media, Scott Piercy, brokerage owner and partner at Engel & Volkers Vancouver Island, says the company became aware of the social media post on Thursday morning. 

“The two individuals were independent contractors who left Engel & Volkers Vancouver Island in 2019 to pursue opportunities with another Victoria brokerage,” Piercy writes. “The allegations in this social media post are concerning and deeply troubling. Although the individuals have not been affiliated with our firm for several years, we are taking this seriously and will continue to look into the matter.”

The Agency, meanwhile, says it will begin a full internal investigation immediately.
 
“We at The Agency just became aware of the allegations. The allegations predate the agents working with our brokerage, although, we are extremely concerned and taking these allegations seriously,” the company says in a statement online. “As conscious members of the Victoria community, we are taking appropriate action to resolve the matter and encourage the complainant to do so as well.” 

One of the accused is affiliated with a local pub in Victoria, which also issued a statement on Thursday. 

“Last night we became aware of a social media post containing an accusation of sexual assault by a minority partner at The Local. I and the whole Local community are deeply shaken by the allegation. The actions described are disturbing, disgusting and wrong,” says Jeremy Petzing, owner of The Local. “Our thoughts are first and foremost with the woman who has brought forward these allegations.”

He adds since learning of the accusation The Local has severed ties with the persons involved.

No one has been charged in connection to these allegations, which have also not been tested in court.

“We welcome anyone who wishes to report sexualized violence to call our Report Desk at (250) 995-7654, extension 1,” says Bowen Osoko, spokesperson for Victoria Police. “People can also both report and access supports through the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre at (250) 383-3232 or VSAC.ca.”

For more information, visit VicPD.ca/webelieveyou.

In February, a Victoria restaurant claims to have fired one of its staff members after it was made aware of numerous allegations of sexual assault against a man. Chuck’s Burger Bar closed its Victoria business in March after the allegations surfaced.  

Also in March, another Victoria restaurant closed after social media posts accused a staff member of sexual assault. E:Ne Raw Food and Sake Bar said it was aware of the “serious accusations” against one of its employees and would be temporarily closed while it investigated.  

Back in August, a Victoria tattoo artist was charged with five counts of sexual assault which are alleged to have taken place at a local tattoo parlour. 

All of these allegations also surfaced on the Survivor Stories Project Instagram account. 

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Canadian home sales, prices surge to new record in March

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OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian home sales rose 5.2% in March from February, setting a new all-time record amid strong demand in markets across the country, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Thursday.

The industry group said actual sales, not seasonally adjusted, rose 76.2% from a year earlier, while the group’s Home Price Index was up 20.1% from last March and up 3.1% from February.

The actual national average selling price hit a new record at C$716,828 ($572,821) in March, up 31.6% from a year earlier and rising 5.7% from February.

($1 = 1.2514 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa)

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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

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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!

Source: – Aldergrove Star

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