British Columbia

B.C. Realtor who faked an offer and threatened a colleague has licence suspended

Last summer, the Real Estate Council of B.C. found that Trevor Inglis had committed professional misconduct by forging or altering an offer and then denying that he'd done it.

North Vancouver's Trevor Inglis says he's appealing disciplinary decision from the real estate council

Trevor Inglis's real estate licence has been suspended for nine months for misconduct. (The Inglis Group)

A North Vancouver real estate agent who fudged an offer on a home has been suspended for nine months and ordered to pay more than $46,500.

Last summer, the Real Estate Council of B.C. found that Trevor Inglis had committed professional misconduct by forging or altering the offer and then denying he'd done it. He also committed conduct unbecoming of a realtor when he threatened his co-listing agent on the house.

The council's discipline committee issued its penalty decision on Wednesday, stopping short of cancelling Inglis's licence, which is what the council's lawyer had recommended.

Instead, Inglis's licence has been suspended and he's been ordered to pay a $7,500 fine and $39,023 in enforcement expenses. He'll also have to pay for and complete courses in ethics and respectful communications.

"The creation of a forged offer to purchase on the part of Mr. Inglis must be viewed as a serious misconduct rather than a minor technical error," the discipline decision says.

"Making a false statement to RECBC is a very serious matter and undermines the effectiveness of regulation in the public interest. It is self-evident that threatening retaliation against a co-listing agent for making a complaint is also very serious."

Inglis's lawyer, Wes McMillan, told CBC he's filed an appeal with the Financial Services Tribunal.

"We think that the original decision disregarded evidence ... that actually helps Mr. Inglis and we think they misconstrued some expert evidence," McMillan said.

An offer from 'Huang'

The case dates back to 2013, when Inglis was brought in to sell a house on Graveley Street in North Vancouver. The owners were in the midst of a breakup, so each half of the couple retained their own agents in a co-listing agreement.

The house was first listed that June at about $1.249 million, but the asking price was slashed to $1.198 million a month later when there were no takers, according to last summer's decision on liability.

In October 2013, a potential buyer made an offer of just over $1 million, but Inglis, according to the liability decision, told them the owners weren't interested in going that low and said he'd had another offer.

This North Vancouver home went on the market in 2013. (Google Maps)

Soon after, his co-listing agent asked to see the other offers, and Inglis sent her two. 

One of those "offers" was a contract of purchase and sale that did not contain a specific purchase price, signed by someone who'd expressed an interest in the property. Inglis told the council that the day after the contract was signed, the potential buyer advised him he was planning to purchase property elsewhere.

The second offer was allegedly from someone named "Huang." Inglis's co-listing agent thought it looked strange and asked her managing broker for advice. The managing broker called the real estate council, which opened an investigation.  

Inglis learned about the probe in February 2014 and left a threatening voicemail on the co-listing agent's phone.

"If you really want to get blackballed, you've gone to the right person, because, trust me, I wield a bigger bat than you do," Inglis told her.

Inglis denied that the writing on the phoney offer was his, but the council found that was a lie.

Realtor has 'true remorse for my actions'

During discipline hearings, Inglis argued that he hadn't caused any harm to the public and that he'd already been hurt by media coverage of his case.

"The damage to my reputation, personal life and family has been embarrassing and harmful beyond anything I could have imagined," he said.

"I understand and have true remorse for my actions five years ago."

But the disciplinary committee said that Inglis had undermined the public interest in professional regulation by lying to the council about what he'd done, and pointed out that this was his second time being disciplined by the council.

In 2015, he agreed to pay $7,200 after admitting that he told a seller's agent that the buyers hadn't received any offers on a property in order to negotiate a price reduction, when he knew there actually was an offer.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said Inglis's motivation for faking an offer on a home was to increase its sale price. In fact, the Real Estate Council decision said nothing about Inglis's motivation. The previous version also suggested Inglis referred to the Huang offer when communicating with a prospective buyer. The story has been updated to reflect that Inglis was referring to a different potential buyer.
    Jun 14, 2019 2:47 PM PT

About the Author

Bethany Lindsay

Journalist

Bethany Lindsay has more than a decade of experience in B.C. journalism, with a focus on the courts, health and social justice issues. She has also reported on human rights and crimes against humanity in Cambodia. Questions or news tips? Get in touch at bethany.lindsay@cbc.ca or on Twitter through @bethanylindsay.