A real estate agent was penalized for malpractice and lost his license for five years after acting as both a buyer and seller of a grocery store, home and warehouse in Clinton.
Ross Chonn was also ordered to take remedial classes and pay fines totaling $ 74,813.45 for his “blatant breach” of real estate rules, according to a three-person discipline committee, including President Sandra Heath and members Neal Nicholson and Ruth Hanson.
“With respect to the respondent’s age and experience, counsel argued that Chonn had been involved in real estate in some capacity since 1992 and had more than enough experience to know better than to violate its fundamental fiduciary duty of honesty and good faith, ”the ruling said.
A former agent for One Percent Realty, Chonn was the listing agent in October 2016 for a husband and wife, identified only as Mr. Lxx and Ms. Wxxx, who wanted to sell the Clinton property for $ 250,000. When the property didn’t generate much interest, Chonn told sellers his wife would buy it.
But while the sellers knew that Chonn was also acting as his wife’s agent, the committee found that he had not informed the couple of what was going on, nor produced a double agency agreement. signed, which would have informed the Clintons. that he was in a conflict of interest.
Real estate agents are prohibited from acting both as a buyer and as a seller.
“Ms. Wxxx’s evidence was that she did not understand that she was entering into a dual limited agency and that she had not signed a dual agency limited agreement,” the committee wrote.
“A client must be fully informed of a conflict of interest in order to make an informed decision about whether to continue to be represented.”
Chonn also canceled the ad with One Percent Realty and didn’t ask the sellers if they wanted him to continue representing them. He became a listing agent at Fair Realty in February 2017.
He also failed to take reasonable steps to avoid a conflict of interest when he and his wife and two young children moved into the house – along with Ms Wxxx – a month before the sale closed. He did not provide compensation to the sellers.
“In cross-examination, Mr. Chonn confirmed that as a real estate agent he was aware of the consequences of this action,” the ruling said. “However, he did not disclose the conflict to either party and took no action to alleviate the situation by paying rent for an early move in.”
Chonn was unable to produce any documents regarding the dual agency, telling the hearing that “unfortunately, when he moved to Clinton, a box of files was thrown in the trash.” However, he had details regarding the contract and the purchase of the property.
A few months later, he also attempted to sell the property for $ 499,000, describing it as an “attractive and successful business”.
“In the end, the Respondent’s blatant disregard for RESA and the rules, and his behavior during the hearing process, warranted a notional cancellation, as well as a ban on reapplying for a license. exercise for a substantial period of five years. “