In today’s hot market, buyers are being forced to get creative in order to try and land a home.
One popular strategy is the personal appeal: A letter directly to owners asking them to sell, as a way to try and skip the bidding war.
Seems straight forward, right? But the technique has landed one young couple in hot water after it turned out they were both realtors… a fact they didn’t disclose in the letter.
LISTEN: Lynda speaks with Dessi Dimov about the controversy around her letter
Dessi and Neyko Dimov’s letter to owners looks like many others. There’s a wedding photo of the young couple, it mentions they’re pregnant, and says they tried to buy into the Langley townhouse complex but were outbid. It says the seller would benefit by skipping a realtor commission – nearly $20,000.
Nowhere does it mention their profession… something that has since touched off a firestorm online.
But Dimov says she didn’t think she was doing anything wrong. She says she figured if she said she was a realtor people would think she was running some kind of marketing scheme.
“My thought is that if someone does contact me, I’ll tell them we are actually realtors but we are looking for ourselves. We are really looking for ourselves, we don’t want to solicit anybody.”
She says it did cross her mind that some people could interpret the omission as unethical, but that she was sure no one would call her if she did mention it.
As to whether she and her husband had plans to buy and flip?
“Oh no no no, definitely not. I genuinely fell in love with the complex because that’s the only townhouse I’ve found in Langley that has a rooftop patio.”
“I don’t see anything wrong with this. Nobody did contact me, but if they did, I would have told them, definitely.”
Dimov says following the outcry, she’ll be checking with the managing broker at her firm about the rules.
“Probably if I do it again I would definitely mention that I’m a realtor. I just don’t think that anybody would contact me. Nobody would believe me that I’m actually looking for myself.”
But Dan Morrison, President of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says rules with both his body and the Real Estate Council of BC could mean the pair are in trouble.
“Our code of ethics and the Real Estate Services Act are very clear that if a realtor is doing any kind of business with the public that they have to disclose that they are licensed realtors.”
The Real Estate Council has since confirmed it’s investigating the case, and told CKNW in a statement that realtors must disclose their status when purchasing property.
“Whenever licensees sell their own property, or make an offer to purchase property for themselves or their spouse , they must promptly disclose to the other party that they are licensed, before any agreement to purchase the property is signed.”
It is now asking anyone who may have received one of the letters to contact the council.