Real estate board criticizes B.C.'s move to regulate 'shadow flipping'

The Vancouver real estate board is criticizing a move by Premier Christy Clark to impose new rules on realtors who profit from a controversial selling practice described as shadow flipping.

Incoming president says an industry-led review is still underway

Vancouver realtors have criticized a move by Premier Christy Clark, above, to impose new rules on realtors who profit from the controversial selling practice of shadow flipping. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver is criticizing Premier Christy Clark's move to impose new rules on realtors who profit from a controversial selling practice described as shadow flipping.

Dan Morrison, the board's new president, accused the government of pre-empting the real estate sector, which is currently reviewing its own practices.

 An independent advisory committee was struck last month to investigate possible misconduct.

"We would have liked to have seen them come back with their results and recommendations before any proposed legislation or changes in policy are implemented," Morrison told On the Coast guest host Gloria Makarenko.

Morrison said the real estate sector had hoped the committee could do its own probe before the province got involved.

"We believe that before you make major decisions you need to get the facts of the issues first," Morrison said.

No complaints to board, says president

Morrison also defended Vancouver realtors, saying his organization has not heard a single complaint about the practice of shadow flipping, in which an agent resells a property before the deal closes. The practice came to light in an investigation by the Globe and Mail.

Morrison's comments come a day after the real estate board sent a letter to the premier expressing its concern about the new rules.

Last week, Clark said the government is closing a loophole that allowed realtors to profit from shadow flipping. At the time, the premier described some agents as "shady" and "greedy."

The real estate board's letter, written by former president Darcy McLeod, said he understands the premier is trying to "curb speculation" associated with the high demand for homes in Vancouver, but added that there are "unforeseen consequences associated with attempting to impose limitations on the market."

McLeod's letter said the media has exaggerated the problem.

"The term 'shadow flipping' was coined to inflame public opinion, the letter said, adding, "an assignment agreement is a regulated practice in B.C."

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