Couple Sues Agency Firm After Buyer Flips For Profit

Ethical issues?

WHEN a married couple sold their downtown apartment for $688,000 in 2007, they thought it was the best deal they were going to find.

But soon after they granted the buyer the right to purchase the property, the two-bedroom Keng Cheow Street apartment was re-sold for $945,000.

It was only later that Mr Yuen Chow Hin and Madam Wong Wai Fan found out about the second deal.

They also learnt that the woman who bought their flat – and flipped it for a healthy profit – was married to the boss of their real estate agent.

The couple cried foul, and are now suing ERA Realty Network in the High Court, seeking $257,000 – the difference between the two sale prices – and the return of about $7,300 in commission.

Source: The Straits Times

The first sellers didn’t know the second deal till CPF Board contacted them and asked about the disparity between the selling price and the new valuation submitted by the new banker’s buyer.

The Agent’s Responsibility

I wouldn’t think that there’s a problem between the agency and the first sellers’ stance since the agent involved is an independant contractor, as most agencies always have a clear standing on contracting their sales people.

If the sellers’ could prove that there’s not much initial effort was being made by the agent to advertise their unit and had already proved that there was a link between the agent and the current new buyer, be it even whether immediate family or just friends, the first sellers’ would have a much stronger case since the agent was not acting in all interest of the sellers’.

As of now, the case is still on-going and going through it’s 3rd day. Every fellow realtors are now watching this case closely and should again serve as a warning for unscrupulous agents who might try to secretly profit from property transactions.

More litigation cases of such will surface as we’re facing economic crisis. My only wish is for our kind to stay more prudent and make sure we stay afloat together amidst the bad times.

Written by Benson Koh
Benson is a professional real estate realtor with over 11 years of experience specializing in all forms of real estate consultancy and brokeraging of different segments from regal homes to commercial spaces. Also a boutique developer, he manages both SRI5000 Developments which concentrates on landed homes as part of his land bank segment and Singapore Realtors Inc (SRI), a real estate agency which has over 7 years of group experience. You can reach him here via various channels. [ Facebook | Linkedin | Twitter | RSS Feed ]