Realtor suing New Coast Realty over shadow-flipping claims
Published Thursday, August 18, 2016 2:26PM PDT Last Updated Thursday, August 18, 2016 6:37PM PDT
A former real estate agent with a firm under fire for shadow-flipping says she was forced out for not participating in the controversial practice.
Morning Yu worked for New Coast Realty in Richmond for two years.
In a statement of claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, the agent said after a year of closing deals successfully she found herself under mounting pressure by then company head Ze Yu Wu to encourage buyers to accept lower offers "so that the realtors could immediately find a 'friendly' buyer who would then assign the purchase."
The arrangement would mean the realtor would obtain two real estate commissions on one deal for the "flip," and would share that commission with New Coast Realty.
Yu said her boss also approached her on numerous occasions to find friendly buyers: friends, neighbours or relatives who would act as a buyer who would then re-assign the purchase and sale agreement.
In her statement of claim, Yu said she was cut off from referrals after refusing to engage in shadow flipping.
"The Plaintiff was of the view that this practice was blatantly unethical and it ran contrary not only to real estate rules but fairness and honesty and refused to agree to such practices," the court filing reads.
In the end, Yu said she was forced to leave the agency.
Ze Yu Wu voluntarily stepped aside in April while the Real Estate Council of B.C. investigated widespread allegations of shadow flipping and exploiting assignment clauses in client contracts at New Coast.
The company has 422 associates, according to its website.
In May, B.C. introduced new regulations to discourage shadow flipping, including requiring home sellers to give their consent before contracts are re-assigned.
Meanwhile, Yu is suing New Coast Realty for $240,346.74, the amount she says is owed to her for commissions on listings and pre-sales she had entered into when she left the company.
New Coast Realty told CTV Vancouver the company and Mr. Wu deny each of the allegations in the lawsuit and it plans to file a defence.
"At no time did Mr. Wu or any other member of the company's management team counsel or suggest that any agent connected to the company break any rules or regulations governing real estate sales," the statement reads.
"This is a dispute about commissions which New Coast does not owe to this realtor. Our position is that this claim has no merit. New Coast intends to vigorously defend its position and reputation."
None of the allegations in Yu’s lawsuit have been proven in court.