The plot thickens.
Another recap in today’s Times Colonist contained an ever so subtle yet ever so important shift in reporting that really must be addressed. To summarize my previous post on this subject what the initial column was NOT about was a case where a Realtor had been representing a seller, sold it under market to a buyer or themselves and then assigned that contract to a second and possibly third buyer profiting along the way. What it DID talking about was a seller accepting an unsolicited offer for thier property from someone who happened to be a real estate agent who in turn sold the contract on to another buyer and possibly a third profiting along the way.
These are completely different scenarios. In the first there is an obvious violation of fiduciary duties and our code of ethics and there would be significant recourse for the origianl seller. The second is somone selling a property believing it to be a good deal for themselves and coming to realize that had they perhaps put some effort into some due diligence they could have made a better deal and being upset about it. It’s like me buying a crappy painting from you at a flea market and discovering it to be a lost work from the group of seven and you being angry at me for buying it from you because now it’s worth something. Tough, do your research.
Here’s the problem.
In this latest article an example is given of what this so called “shadow flipping”, (which I’ll reiterate is a term that doesn’t exist in our industry and is ridiculously dramatic). It says:
“A real estate agent’s client reaches a deal to sell a property to an initial buyer for $1 million. The agent then takes that contract and resells it to a second buyer for $1.5 million. The agent, in turn, goes to a third and final buyer and sells the contract for $1.8 million…” (Laura Kane, Canadian Press, Times Colonist Feb 11, 2016).
Notice the shift. This is exactly what was NOT in the original article that “broke” this story, such that it is. This is a description of an obvious and grevious violation of ficudicary duties by the agent if the seller was in fact the agent’s client, as this example states. BUT IT IS NOT WHAT THE ARTICLE WAS ABOUT.
You would think that a Canadian Press reporter would take a moment and try to understand what was being reported before erroneously reporting the same thing days later. The article was quite clear that the contract assignments were carried out by the buyer’s agents, not the seller’s agents, and in fact the sellers were generally unrepresented. This example is a gross misrepresentation of the original article and needs to be retracted or corrected. But it won’t be, or no one will notice, because I suppose the days of accuracy over sensationalism in reporting are long over.