Victoria real estate agent fined for false advertising, misconduct on sale of father’s property
The real estate council ordered the agent to pay $7,500 in fines and $1,500 in enforcement expenses. Her licence was also suspended for 60 days. (CTV News)
VICTORIA -- A Victoria real estate agent has been ordered to pay $9,000 in penalties and her licence has been suspended for 60 days after the Real Estate Council of B.C. found she broke several rules in the sale of her father’s property.
RE/MAX Camosun agent Whitney Garside falsely advertised the property as nearly twice its actual size and told the buyer they could avoid paying the property transfer tax by privately paying a lump sum of cash directly to the seller, according to a decision by the council published on Dec. 9.
The Burnett Road property was being sold by Garside’s father in June 2016 for $450,000.
According to the real estate council’s disciplinary committee, Garside advertised the property as 8,712 square feet, when in reality it was 4,710 square feet. A portion of the property was actually owned by the Ministry of Transportation, which Garside didn’t disclose, leading the council to conclude she “published false and misleading advertising and failed to act with reasonable care and skill.”
The agent also advised the buyer to pay $42,000 in cash to her father so the final sale price would fall below the threshold for property transfer tax.
Garside failed to inform her brokerage of this cash transaction and failed to recommend the seller seek independent legal advice on the deal, amounting to professional misconduct, according to the disciplinary order.
The real estate council ordered Garside to pay $7,500 in fines and $1,500 in enforcement expenses. Her licence was also suspended for 60 days, from Nov. 4 to Jan. 3, 2021.
She has been ordered to complete real estate ethics and remedial education courses at her own expense, or risk losing her licence.
Garside waived her right to appeal the disciplinary order. She has been a licensed agent with the council since 2010.