Realtor admits to altering condo sale documents
Sandra Hermiston & Lynda Steele, CTV British Columbia
Published Monday, May 27, 2013 6:00AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 29, 2013 4:43PM PDT
Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make, but what if your realtor has their best interests at heart instead of yours? A Vancouver woman claims her realtor faked contracts and altered prices all for the sake of a few thousand dollars in commission.
Janet MacKenzie really wanted to buy a condo in the Yaletown area, but the unit she wanted to purchase was listed with a reduced commission.
She wanted to make an offer but says her realtor, Marco Vincenzi from Sutton Group - West Coast Realty, told her the unit was already sold.
When the condo kept showing up on MLS listings, Vincenzi changed his story. He claimed the deal had fallen through and agreed to present MacKenzie’s offer. She waited and waited to see if it was accepted.
"There were a lot of the reasons for delays that I was being given by my realtor, the fact that these people were away, they were on the beach, they weren't contacting their realtor regularly," said MacKenzie.
Unbeknownst to MacKenzie, her realtor, Vincenzi, was trying to make a deal behind her back that would compensate him for the money he stood to lose on that reduced commission.
"The way that I found out what had happened was actually when the sellers' realtor had contacted me because she had noticed some discrepancies on the documents with my signatures," said MacKenzie.
The seller's realtor had emailed her boss to say that Janet’s realtor, Marco Vincenzi "had asked for more commission. When I look at the fee agreement, it seems the buyer's signature (Janet's) does not match."
The realtor's boss responded in an email saying, "I would agree that the signatures are not the same, and suggest that this is the buyer's agent that has signed the document."
The signatures didn't match because MacKenzie insists she didn't sign these documents. She claims her realtor, Marco Vincenzi forged her signature and she was not aware of what he was doing.
Her realtor did admit to the Real Estate Council of BC to altering documents, drafting and presenting documents without her knowledge, changing offer amounts without permission and keeping MacKenzie out of the loop on negotiations.
"Seeing what was supposedly my signature and it wasn't actually my signature… was a very violating feeling," said MacKenzie.
MacKenzie went to Vincenzi's real estate office in Coquitlam, and demanded a meeting with his boss, Jason Watson, who insisted in a recorded conversation that Vincenzi’s days as a realtor were done.
"Ultimately by the end of the day, I can't say it will be tomorrow, but probably by Monday he won't have a license," said Jason Watson, managing broker at Sutton Group – West Coast Realty.
MacKenzie claims Watson told her not to call police, but to let the Real Estate Council of BC handle the matter instead. She was assured Vincenzi would lose his license permanently, a punishment MacKenzie felt he richly deserved.
"It's not a good thing to have your home buying dreams held hostage by someone for the sake of two or three thousand dollars," she said.
Originally, a hearing with the Real Estate Council of BC was scheduled for late March, but it was cancelled after Vincenzi agreed to a consent hearing, where he would admit to wrongdoing and agree to accept the council’s punishment. After 16 months, the council finally made a decision.
For part 2 of this story, watch CTV News at Six on Tuesday.