This Clinton real estate deal cost the agent $75,000 and his licence for five years

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A realtor whose wife bought a property he was handling in Clinton, B.C. had his licence suspended and has to pay $75,000 in fines and expenses.

Ross Chonn was a licensed realtor with One Percent Realty Ltd. in October 2016 when he signed on as the agent for a woman wanting to sell her building in Clinton. It contained a retail market, accommodation and storage. The asking price was $250,000.

In January 2017, after the property failed to sell, she offered to provide a mortgage if Chonn was to buy it himself. He said he could and that his wife would be the buyer.

In doing so, he acted as agent both for the buyer and the seller.

He was to pay a $10,000 deposit and another $20,000 when the deal closed on March 31, 2017.

“In early February (the seller) learned that Mr. Chonn and his wife and two small children were living without power and water and she agreed they could move in early, which they did,” states the ruling by the Real Estate Board of B.C.

Not only did the family move in early, they did not pay rent and did not pay the $20,000 due on the closing date. All they paid was $10,000 in two payments and still owe on the $220,000 mortgage.

Chonn listed the property for sale a few months later, asking for $499,000.

At the disciplinary hearing, Chonn argued that he was not acting as a realtor but as a witness in a private deal between his wife and the seller.

The board ruled that he was, in fact, a realtor at the time, even though he’s currently not licensed.

There’s a list of eight violations he was found guilty of, including professional misconduct, failing to act in the best interests of his client, not advising the client to seek legal advice and not declaring a conflict of interest.

Chonn’s licence has been cancelled, he has to pay a $23,500 penalty along with $51,563 in enforcement expenses. He cannot apply for a new licence for five years and, if he does get a licence, he must have enhanced supervision for two years.

The full ruling can be seen here.

READ MORE: B.C. realtor hit with a one year suspension and $150,000 in costs


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