The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has voted to immediately triple the maximum penalty fine for realtor misconduct to $30,000 from $10,000.
More than 80 per cent of members voted in favour of the increase at the board's annual general meeting this week.
REBGV president Dan Morrison says the idea first came about 18 months ago after the board found the previous fines weren't punitive enough to deter some realtors from questionable practices.
"The penalties were almost perceived as a cost of doing business. That $10,000 is too low in this market," Morrison said.
The board fines realtors for practices such as failing to disclose information to buyers and sellers or mishandling deposits.
Morrison says the move wasn't a direct response to mounting scrutiny over realtor practices, including "shadow flipping."
"There's no wrong time to do the right thing. We only have one annual general meeting a year, so we had to wait until this to bring it to our members for a vote," he said.
It's the first time fines have been increased since 2004.
"We want to deal with it and stop it," Morrison said. "We suspect it's only a handful of bad apples that are making us look all look really bad, and making the whole profession really bad."
A photograph in an earlier version of this story included a realtor's name on a for sale sign. This was a stock image. There was no connection between that realtor and the specifics of this story.Apr 04, 2016 6:53 PM PT