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B.C. realtor made $1K in dodgy sale, gets fined $25K

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK

A B.C. real estate agent has been fined $25,000 for her part in a housing sale that involved a "subject-free" sale to an elderly couple.

According to a Jan. 6 B.C. Financial Services Authority decision, Deanna Michelle McMillan facilitated the contract for the "subject-free" sale of the house on Vancouver Island, which was partly owned by another realtor at her brokerage.

The decision says McMillan did not tell the buyers, who were in their 70s and 80s, about the risks of making a subject-free offer.

The elderly couple was relying on selling their home to purchase the new property in Coombs and were on a fixed retirement income and couldn't easily obtain financing or go back to work should they be unable to sell their property.

The decision says the couple was at a real risk of losing their $35,000 deposit.

"Ms. McMillan demonstrated incompetence; failed to act honestly and with reasonable care and skill or in the best interests of her clients," the Financial Services Authority said in the decision.

The decision says the property was listed in October 2018 and the real estate agent with the listing owned a part share of the property.

McMillan agreed to represent the buyers in the transaction for $1,000 while the agent who owned the property would keep most of the commission.

The decision says the other unnamed real estate agent lost their licence over the sale.

READ MORE: B.C. mortgage broker suspended for 3 years for working with unlicenced broker

During the housing sale, McMillan met briefly with the buyer and the real estate brokerages office but was largely absent after that.

"She offered no or no meaningful agency or representation to the buyers," the decision reads.

She was not involved in drafting the contract or any related documents, although she says she reviewed them.

The Financial Services Authority said McMillan should have withdrawn from the sale but she saw the other realtor as a "mentor to her" as they were significantly more senior.

"Ms. McMillan now expresses insight that she cannot allow her relationship with another (realtor) to affect her duties to her clients," the decision reads.

The Financial Services Authority found McMillan had committed professional misconduct and fined her $25,000.

She will also have to pay another $1,050 to cover the money she made during the transaction and pay fees of $1,500.

READ MORE: Unlicensed B.C. property manager on the hook for $100K

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