Realtor gets caught trying to make $400,000 illegally shadow flipping, gets fined $8,000

By Amy Chen

A Vancouver Realtor who got caught trying to make $400,000 illegally shadow flipping a property in addition to a slew of other illegal activities has been fined a $8,000 and given a 45-day licence suspension by the industry watchdog.

Xiao Zhong (Jordan) Guo of the notorious New Coast Realty made an offer for a $7.5million dollar property at Minoru Boulevard on behalf of his company Jia Construction Ltd. in April 2015, but failed to inform the sellers and their realtor that he was the owner of the company.

Two days after seller accepted the offer, Guo put the property on market for $7.9 million, for a potential $400,000 profit without having invest his money into the deal, and circulated a brochure advertising the sale without the original seller’s consent.

He did something similar with a West Vancouver property a week later.

“On two occasions Mr. Guo published and circulated brochures advertising a property for sale by assignment,” a disciplinary committee of the Real Estate Council of British Columbia ruled. “Each time, he did this without the consent of the property owners. Licensees must act honestly and with reasonable care and skill.”

The committee ruled that Guo’s actions contravened section 3-4 of the Council Rules, which states that “when providing real estate services, a licensee must act honestly and with reasonable care and skill.”

In an unrelated case, Guo was also found guilty of double agency without consent in violation of the same rules.

Shadow flipping has come under heavy criticism for artificially inflating Vancouver’s already sky high housing prices while shortchanging the seller and robbing the government of revenue.

“If they’re selling to somebody else, then they would collect two, three, and sometimes four or more commissions on a single sale,” BC’s Attorney General David Eby alleged last year, when he was BC NDP’s housing critic. “There are a number of concerns that this realtor had about this—in particular, the purchasers were not paying, as would be expected, the property transfer tax each time the property was sold.”

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