A former real estate agent has agreed to the cancellation of her license and a $55,000 fine to settle allegations of misconduct brought against her by a BC regulator.

Gobinder Kaur Takhar agreed to the sanctions in a consent order with the BC Financial Services Authority earlier this month. A redacted version of the agreement was published on the BCFSA website last week.

According to the order, the allegations against Takhar came from two sisters – identified in the document only as JA and CJ – who purchased a pair of adjacent properties in Chilliwack in 2017.

At the time, both properties were under contract to be sold to a company that had Takhar’s spouse as a minority shareholder and its sole director. The sisters agreed to be assigned the company’s agreements to purchase the properties, and the consent order indicates they agreed to purchase the homes for higher prices than the company was slated to.

Disagreement about what happened

Although the consent order includes an agreement on the facts of the case, that agreement acknowledges that the parties have different reflections of what transpires.

According to the order, JA and CJ – along with a third sister – began working with a different real estate agent in early 2017 and were interested in purchasing an investment property.

The other agent introduced the sisters to Takhar, and in September 2017 – shortly after the sisters had ended their relationship with the other agent – ​​Takhar met with JA and CJ and discussed the two properties.

The consent order indicates the parties differ in their accounts of what was said.

The sisters had previously made an offer on one of the properties, which was rejected. According to the order, they said they met with Takhar to discuss purchasing only that property, and Takhar told them they would have to purchase the adjacent property as well.

“She said they could flip them before closing to make a profit,” the order reads, narrating the sisters’ version of events.

“She also mentioned that her spouse was a minority shareholder of (the buyer) but did not elaborate on what that meant.”

Takhar’s recollection of what was discussed included an explanation that the buyer was looking to assign both contracts and that the company would make a profit on the assignment sales.

“Ms. Takhar denies making any statements about the sisters reassigning prior to completion,” the consent order reads.

Ultimately, believing that they would be able to reassign the contracts for a profit, the sisters agreed to take on the purchase contracts for both properties, agreeing to a price of $425,000 for each one.

What was discussed at the meeting where the assignment contracts were signed remains in dispute, according to the order.

“The sisters say that Ms. Takhar quickly took them through the assignment contracts but did not explain the terms in detail nor go over a breakdown of the prices or fees,” the order reads.

“They said that the concept of the assignment fee was not explained to them, and they believed they were purchasing for the original purchase price for both properties. They said that Ms. Takhar did not explain that she was not acting on their behalf. They say that Ms. Takhar further discussed the possibility of them further assigning the properties to another buyer before closing to make a profit and said that she had potential buyers in mind for them.”

For her part, Takhar said she met with the sisters for more than two hours and went through the contracts with them.

“She says she explained the assignment fee and pointed out the assignee’s total purchase price, which was $425,000 for each property,” the order reads. “She denies making any statements about reassignment prior to completion.”

The sisters maintained that they did not realize they were paying a premium for the properties until Takhar contacted them in October 2017 about completing the sales.

The consent order indicates that the woman had to sell assets and borrow money from family members in order to afford the two purchases. They filed a complaint about Takhar shortly after the second purchase was complete.

Misconduct and discipline

Takhar voluntarily surrendered his real estate license in August 2020, according to the order.

She “maintains that she was completely transparent” with the sisters throughout the process, but “accepts that she did not clearly explain her role in the transactions to the sisters,” the order notes.

As part of the consent order, Takhar agreed to findings of professional misconduct, including by breaching her “duty to act with reasonable care and skill” and to advise clients to seek independent professional advice. She also agreed that she had failed to properly disclose the nature of the representation she would provide.

Takhar agreed to orders from the BCFSA canceling her license and imposing a $55,000 penalty, as well as $2,000 in enforcement expenses.

By sunsang