Nfld. & Labrador

Exit Realty on the Rock agents may not get commissions

New details suggest real estate agents with Exit Realty on the Rock may not receive the hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions they are owed.
Bill Stirling, CEO of the province's realtors association, said that he's concerned real estate agents with Exit Realty on the Rock will not receive their commission payments. (CBC)

New details suggest real estate agents with Exit Realty on the Rock may not receive the hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions they are owed.

Exit Realty on the Rock's license has been suspended and the company is being held in receivership by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The primary creditor, Bank of Montreal, served legal notice Wednesday that commission payments should be sent to PwC — not to the agents.

Bill Stirling, CEO of the NL Association of Realtors, said he's worried this means major creditors may have first access to this money, which could leave the agents with nothing.

"Our concern is trying to make sure that those commissions that are outstanding get paid to those people who work hard and have earned a pay cheque," said Stirling.

"That pay cheque is what is at risk."

Commissions not put in trust fund

Stirling said hundreds of thousands of dollars are involved.

Unlike in other provinces, real estate commissions in Newfoundland and Labrador are not put into a trust fund, but go into the general revenue of the company.

This means creditors can get access to commission money before the agents in proceedings such as receivership or bankruptcy.

Exit Realty on the Rock had its licence suspended last week and is currently in receivership. (CBC)

Stirling said receiverships can take several months or even years.

"We cannot offer them [the agents] any clarity or any guarantee that they're safe in this process," he said.

"It's unfortunate because there's a lot of good work done by a lot of good people. And not only with this company, but with other brokerages around the province who are at risk as well."

Stirling's message contradicts that of Exit Realty on the Rock owner Anne Squires, who issued a statement on Saturday assuring agents their commissions are not at risk.

People who were buying or selling a home with Exit Realty on the Rock are not at risk, said Stirling, and pending sales will close as scheduled.

Stirling also said he has no knowledge of why Exit Realty on the Rock went into receivership, or about the nature of a complaint to the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. 

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