Realtor snipped in dispute with his hairstylist over $30,000 cut in Vancouver deal price

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      Cheung Philip Lau will not be able to work as a realtor for 45 days starting March 11, 2020.

      The Real Estate Council of B.C. (RECBC) found Lau to have committed professional misconduct, and ordered his suspension.

      Lau’s troubles began when he was getting a hair cut from his personal stylist sometime in 2011.

      As recalled in the statement of facts prepared by Lau himself for the real estate regulator, the realtor “introduced a condominium investment opportunity” to the hairdresser, who was not named in the document.

      Lau advised the complainant that it was a “profitable investment”, and had “great pre-sale prices”.

      “After this meeting, Mr. Lau has told the Council that he advised the Complainant that she could obtain a VIP price which was $30,000 lower than what would be the market price,” according to the document, which is known as a consent order proposal that was accepted by the RECBC.

      The development involved was a project of Westbank Corp. on Granville Street and West 70th Avenue.

      The development is anchored by a new Safeway grocery, and it has two condo towers, plus other commercial and community spaces.

      The contract for the hairstylist’s pre-sale purchase had a price of $654,000.

      The hairdresser also had to make three deposits of $65,400, $32,700, and $32,700.

      “Mr. Lau did not go through the terms of the Contract in detail with the Complainant prior to her execution,” the consent order proposal stated.

      The other documents involved in the deal also did not identify Lau as the buyer’s agent, and named another realtor as the agent.

      “Mr. Lau has informed the Council that per his understanding, he was not acting as the Complainant’s agent at this time and so he did not go over the documents in any detail,” the consent order read.

      The other realtor and his agency later had to correct a disclosure statement to properly indicate that Lau was the agent of the buyer.

      “Upon reflection, Mr. Lau accepts that an implied agency relationship was created between himself and the Complainant,” according to the consent order.

      On December 12, 2014, the contract completed.

      “On completion, the Complainant inquired with Mr. Lau as to when she would receive the $30,000 rebate on the purchase price,” the document stated.

      Lau “advised the Complainant that she had already received a $30,000 discount by way of a reduction in the purchase price”.

      “The Complainant has told the Council this was the first time she made aware that she already received a $30,000 discount and would not be receiving a further rebate,” the document noted.

      According to the consent order proposal, Lau “failed to properly explain the $30,000 price adjustment that was promised to the Complainant”.

      Other things followed that put Lau into deeper trouble.

      Lau listed the property for sale for $768,000 without proper authorization from his hairstylist.

      In January 2015, the complainant entered into a multiple listing contract with another realtor.

      On February 17, 2016, the hairstylist made a complaint against Lau before the RECBC.

      About a month later, Lau received a payment of $7,324.80 from the developer as his commission for the purchase of the property.

      “At no time did Mr. Lau disclose to the Complainant this remuneration,” according to the consent order proposal made by Lau.

      On May 16, 2016, the hairstylist sold the property for $760,000.

      The price was $106,000 more than the original purchase price of $654,000.

      The hairstylist made a $106,000 profit from her pre-sale purchase in this Westbank Corp. development at Granville Street and West 70th Avenue.

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