Agency Pays Up on Flipping Profit to Couple

Remember the case we mentioned a month ago with regards to two unethical agents? The agency pays up the differences to the original sellers of $257,000.00 and the agents have since quit the firm.

A COUPLE who successfully sued estate agency ERA Realty Network for flipping their apartment has got back the money that the agents made on it, with interest.

ERA yesterday said that it would not be appealing against the decision last month ordering it to pay $257,000 to Mr Yuen Chow Hin and his wife, Madam Wong Wai Fan.

The couple had sold their two-bedroom downtown apartment for $688,000 through ERA agent Jeremy Ang in 2007, thinking it was the best price he could get them.

… Source: Straits Times Online

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Couple Wins Difference, Agency Ordered to Compensate 275K

The verdict is out for the property flipping incident involving the marketing agent friend we’ve mentioned about few days ago.

REAL estate agency ERA has been ordered by the High Court to cough up $257,000 and other expenses to a married couple whose property agent had acted in conflict of interest.

When a property agent is engaged to sell or buy property, he has a responsibility to act in the interests of the person who hired him – not his own, or his friends’, or his relatives’ or his boss’, said the judge.

The Straits Times

This is a huge tarnish to the real estate brand name and I’m sure clients who engages the affected firm in the near future would be asking about this case and be more cautious. Again to be fair, one black sheep doesn’t mean the whole herd is of the same type.

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.