Den of Iniquity…

A Port Moody condominium apartment for sale which I was showing to a woman was advertised as a two (2) bedroom. I discovered upon showing that it was in fact a one (1) bedroom and den.

Well it turns out that the developer originally sold these properties as two bedroom units to unsuspecting Buyers (hopefully none of which were represented by a licensed representative here in the REBGV). 

den-of-thievesA ‘den of thieves’ is not where robbers steal, but a “safe house” to which they return after having robbed somewhere else. So where is this “safe house” that allows developers to rip-off the general public?

It’s in the Real Estate Development Marketing Act.  The administrator of REDMA regulations is the Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM) and it seems to be so far removed from overseeing the regulations that the developers will continue to create a “den of misery” for future homebuyers.

Another common example of a developer rip-off is the overstating of inhabitable space when selling to the public; again, nothing is done.

When setting appointments of homes for sale for clients to view we’re at the mercy of our professional colleagues and must rely heavily on the information provided on the listing to be accurate and complete. Relying on the developer information is like relying on the weather or a weather forecast.

Misrepresenting properties in such a way is unacceptable; our time had been wasted and she (my client) wasn’t at all happy; neither was I. 

This gives the false appearance of being ‘good value’ for a two bedroom which will attract buyers and their representatives. 

Providing inaccurate data can have serious consequences.  For instance, when a Comparative Market Analysis is prepared using two bedroom information, it skews the values being used for other REALTORS and their clients. 

Perhaps the definition of a den needs to be clarified, and rules established for what counts as a closet and window.

The following definition for the word “den” from Merriam-Webster Online seems to provide a simple understanding: A comfortable usually secluded room.

Btw, none of the definitions I found for the word “den” presented it in a context for use or substitution as a bedroom.  

In May 2007 I reported this to the board and was told: “…our technical area has advised that they will submit your request as an enhancement request to the service provider. Because MLXchange is so widely used, enhancement requests such as this can take a fair bit of time to be adopted; however, we will stress the importance of this enhancement for our market.

 It is concerning to hear of REALTORS wrongly classifying properties and we will take measures to note this in our MLX courses. Thank you for bringing this forward.”

Maybe it’s time for a follow-up.

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