News Releases

RECA releases information to the media and the public when we have announcements, issue a consumer alert, suspend an industry professional, or when industry professionals take a lifetime withdrawal.

RECA’s consumer protection mandate means RECA must use every means at its disposal to communicate important information to consumers.

Media should contact communications@reca.ca for more information about any of the news releases below.

    
    


Calgary, Alberta – On August 20, 2019, a Hearing Panel for the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) cancelled the real estate and mortgage licences of Paramjit Kaur Aulakh, effective August 20, 2019. Ms. Aulakh is not eligible to reapply for any new licence from RECA until August 21, 2021.

The Panel cancelled Ms. Aulakh’s licences due to the nature and gravity of the proven allegations, as well as the impact on the clients involved and the reputation of the real estate industry.

The Hearing Panel concluded that Ms. Aulahk’s actions were contrary to the Real Estate Act Rules, including that Ms. Aulahk:

  • participated in fraudulent or unlawful activities in connection with the provision of services or any dealings [s.42(b) of the Real Estate Act Rules]
  • provided services to her client in a trade or anticipated trade in which she had a conflict of interest without receiving their written and informed consent [s.54(3) of the Real Estate Act Rules]
  • failed to:
    – provide competent service to her client [s.41(b) of the Real Estate Act Rules]
    – disclose the details of compensation for services [s.41(c) of the Real Estate Act Rules]
    – ensure her role in the transaction was clearly understood by the client [s.41(e) of the Real Estate Act Rules]
    – disclose the existence of conflict of interest [s.41(f) of the Real Estate Act Rules]
    – fulfil her fiduciary duty of loyalty or confidentiality to the client [s.57(e) of the Real Estate Act Rules]

As a result of this cancellation, Ms. Aulakh may not trade in real estate or deal in mortgages in Alberta. Before being eligible to apply for a licence Ms. Aulakh must successfully satisfy all pre-licensing education requirements.

Ms. Aulakh was registered with 1426300 Alberta Ltd. O/A Realty Executives Progressive and Centum Accord Mortgage Inc. at the time of the sanctioned activities.

Ms. Aulakh was most recently registered with Excellence Real Estate Edmonton Ltd. O/A RE/MAX Excellence and Centum Accord Mortgage Inc.

Want to share this story to social media? Link directly to the article: September 19, 2019 – Paramjit Kaur Aulakh: Real Estate and Mortgage Licences Cancelled


Calgary, AB – On September 16, 2019, Brian Klingspon, Christine Zwozdesky, and JT Dhoot resigned from the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA).

“On behalf of Council, I would like to thank Brian, Christine, and JT for their service to the real estate industry and the public of Alberta,” said RECA Chair Robert Telford. “We will miss their professionalism and experience at the Council table.”

Brian Klingspon is a licensed real estate professional, and was appointed to Council in 2013. He was appointed by the Alberta Real Estate Association from members of the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton, and served as Chair in 2017-2018.

Christine Zwozdesky is a licensed property manager, and was also appointed to Council in 2013. She was appointed by Council from nominations received from licensed property managers, and served as Chair in 2016-2017.

JT Dhoot is a licensed real estate appraiser, and was appointed to Council in 2019. He was appointed by those members of Council appointed by the Alberta Real Estate Association and Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association, from among industry members who are not members of the Alberta Real Estate Association.

Want to share this story to social media? Link directly to the article: September 16, 2019 – Council Member Update


Calgary, Alberta –  On August 8, 2019, Service Alberta announced a Ministerial Order that requires the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) to cease any changes to bylaws, rules, or policy directives unless approval by the Minister is provided. This also applies to any previously approved but not yet enacted changes.

“As the independent governing authority for Alberta’s real estate industry, consumer protection is at the core of our mandate,” said Robert Telford, Chair of RECA. “We will work diligently and cooperatively with the Minister to ensure compliance with the Ministerial Order and are committed to providing updates to industry members and stakeholders as they become available.”

RECA remains fully committed to transparency and openness and we thank the Government of Alberta for working with us to ensure the ongoing integrity of the industry and protection of consumers.

Link directly to this news release: August 9, 2019 – Service Alberta Ministerial Order to Council


NOTE: Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Canada Inc.’s suspension ended on July 23, 2019, as they have fulfilled all the requirements to reinstate their licence.

Calgary, Alberta – On July 22, 2019, the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) suspended the licence of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Canada Inc.

Under Section 35(2)(b) of the Real Estate Act Rules, the executive director may suspend the licence of a brokerage if RECA receives information that indicates the individual who is registered as the broker has resigned or ceased to be the broker.

As a result of the brokerage licence suspension, the registrations of any industry professionals who were registered with this brokerage are cancelled and service agreements with this brokerage end. To read more about what to do if your brokerage shuts down, or if a brokerage you are dealing with shuts down, please see the Information Bulletin: When your real estate brokerage closes.

All active trades in real estate involving this brokerage are affected. Brokerages or consumers who have pending purchases or sales with deposits being held in trust with this brokerage should consider amending their purchase contract to transfer their trust deposit to a different brokerage or lawyer.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the suspension of this brokerage, please contact RECA at: 403-228-2954, or by email at: info@reca.ca.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is an independent, non-government agency, responsible for governing real estate, mortgage broker, property management, and real estate appraisal industry professionals under Alberta’s Real Estate Act. RECA’s mandate is to protect consumers and to provide services that enhance and improve the industry and the business of industry professionals.

Want to share this on social media? Link directly to the story: July 22, 2019 – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Canada Inc.


Calgary, Alberta – On July 17, 2019, Bruce Dean Mullett, previously a real estate associate broker in Spruce Grove, applied to permanently withdraw from industry membership.

At the time of his application, Mr. Mullett was the subject of an investigation under the Real Estate Act. The issues under investigation were whether Mr. Mullett:

  • participated in fraudulent activities in connection with the provision of service
  • participated in unlawful activities (i.e. theft) in the provision of service
  • brought the industry into disrepute by committing fraud and theft

At the time of Mr. Mullett’s withdrawal from industry, the investigation was not complete and there had been no disciplinary hearing, admissions, or findings of fact.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta approved Mr. Mullett’s application to withdraw, and this results in a voluntary lifetime prohibition from industry membership; conduct proceedings are now discontinued.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is an independent, non-government agency, responsible for governing real estate, mortgage broker, property management, and real estate appraisal industry professionals under Alberta’s Real Estate Act. RECA’s mandate is to protect consumers and to provide services that enhance and improve the industry and the business of industry professionals.

Want to share this on social media? Link directly to the story: July 17, 2019 – Bruce Dean Mullett: Lifetime Withdrawal from Industry


Calgary, Alberta – On July 17, 2019, Robert Mraz, previously a mortgage associate in Lethbridge, applied to permanently withdraw from industry membership.

At the time of his application, Mr. Mraz was the subject of an investigation under the Real Estate Act. The issues under investigation were whether Mr. Mraz:

  • acted in conflict of interest
  • adequately carried out his responsibilities as a delegate broker including ensuring there was a written service agreement and a written disclosure of the steps taken to verify financial assets
  • attempted to delegate supervision duties without authority and without communication
  • made representations to a lender that were reckless and likely to mislead the lender without verifying the information

At the time of Mr. Mraz’s withdrawal from industry, the investigation was not complete and there had been no disciplinary hearing, admissions, or findings of fact.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta approved Mr. Mraz’s application to withdraw, and this results in a voluntary lifetime prohibition from industry membership; conduct proceedings are now discontinue

Want to share this social media? Link directly to the story: July 17, 2019 – Robert Mraz: Lifetime Withdrawal from Industry


Calgary, Alberta – On July 15, 2019, the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) suspended the real estate licence of Paul Seib. RECA suspended Mr. Seib for refusing to cooperate with a person conducting an investigation.

As a result of this suspension, Mr. Seib may not trade in real estate in Alberta. His suspension will continue until the executive director is satisfied he has cooperated with the investigation. Mr. Seib was most recently a real estate broker for Dione Irwin Real Estate Inc. O/A Royal Lepage Innovate.

Want to share this news on social media? Link directly to the story: July 15, 2019 – Paul Seib: Real Estate Licence Suspended


Calgary Alberta – The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) urges real estate professionals to review the work and personal safety resources available to them.

On June 22, 2019, Calgary Police Services were called in to investigate the sexual assault of a real estate professional who was working alone at an open house. RECA is saddened by this event and our thoughts are with this industry member.

RECA takes the safety of industry members seriously. We urge all real estate professionals to review the Fundamentals of Real Estate Unit 3–Session 7: Working Safely. Use this review to update your personal processes so you stay informed, prepared and aware. You can access the Fundamentals of Real Estate manual through your myRECA account.

To prepare for your safety at open houses (or other situations where meeting members of the public):

  • familiarize yourself with the property so you know the locations of exits
  • have someone work the open house with you
  • keep your phone and car keys on you
  • keep lights on and window coverings open
  • have visitors sign in as they enter the property
  • trust your instincts: if you feel threatened, get yourself to safety and call for help

Brokers can also refine their knowledge through the Real Estate Update 2019 (Real Estate Brokers) course which outlines brokerage requirements for employee health and safety. RECA recommends brokers create a safety policy to protect professionals when they are working alone.

Industry professionals should bring any concerns about their brokerage safety policy to their broker.

 

Want to share this story on social media? Like directly to the article: https://www.reca.ca/about-reca/publication-resources/news-releases/news-releases-2019/june-24-2019-safety-resources-available-for-industry-professionals/


Calgary, Alberta – On June 21, 2019, the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) suspended the real estate and mortgage licences of Trevor William Fenn. Mr. Fenn is not authorized to trade in real estate or deal in mortgages.

RECA determined it is in the public interest to temporarily suspend Mr. Fenn. Allegations against Mr. Fenn include engaging in conduct that presents a risk of harm to the public, undermines public confidence in the industry, harms the integrity of the industry, or brings the industry into disrepute.

Mr. Fenn’s licence will remain suspended pending the outcome of RECA’s conduct proceedings.

Mr. Fenn was most recently a real estate associate for 1601407 Alberta Ltd. o/a Re/Max Complete Realty and a mortgage associate for MA Mortgage Architects Inc. o/a Mortgage Architects.

 

Want to share this story on social media? Like directly to the article: June 21, 2019 – Trevor William Fenn: Real Estate and Mortgage Licences Suspended


Calgary, Alberta – On June 20, 2019, the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) suspended the licence of Dione Irwin Real Estate Inc. o/a Royal LePage Innovate in Airdrie.

Under Section 35(2)(c) of the Real Estate Act Rules, RECA may suspend the licence of a brokerage if RECA receives information that indicates the individual who is registered as the broker is no longer able to perform the duties and responsibilities of a broker outlined in the Rules.

As a result of the brokerage licence suspension, the registrations of any industry professionals who were registered with this brokerage are cancelled and service agreements with this brokerage end. To read more about what to do if your brokerage shuts down, or if a brokerage you are dealing with shuts down, please see the Information Bulletin: When your real estate brokerage closes.

All active trades in real estate involving this brokerage are affected. Brokerages or consumers who have pending purchases or sales with deposits being held in trust with this brokerage should consider amending their purchase contract to transfer their trust deposit to a different brokerage or lawyer.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the suspension of this brokerage, please contact RECA at: 403-228-2954, or by email at: info@reca.ca.

 

Want to share this news on social media? Link directly to the story: https://www.reca.ca/about-reca/publication-resources/news-releases/news-releases-2019/royal-lepage-innovate-brokerage-licence-suspended/


Calgary, Alberta – On June 3, 2019, the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) suspended Richard Horb, an unregistered real estate associate in the Edmonton area.

Mr. Horb has failed to comply with an order of a Hearing Panel. The suspension will continue until he complies with the Hearing Panel’s decision.

Mr. Horb was most recently a real estate associate for Re/Max Real Estate (Edmonton) Ltd o/a Re/Max Real Estate.

 

Want to share this news on social media? Link directly to the story: https://www.reca.ca/about-reca/publication-resources/news-releases/news-releases-2019/richard-horb-real-estate-licence-suspended/ 


Calgary, Alberta – On April 17, 2019, Abosede Onaba, previously a real estate broker in Peace River, applied to permanently withdraw from industry membership.

Prior to her application, Ms. Onaba failed to fully comply with RECA staff requests for complete reconciliations of rental and security trust accounts.

At the time of Ms. Onaba’s withdrawal from industry, the investigation was not complete, and there had been no disciplinary hearing, admissions, or findings of fact.

RECA approved Ms. Onaba’s application to withdraw, and this results in a voluntary lifetime prohibition from industry membership; conduct proceedings are now discontinued.

 

https://www.reca.ca/about-reca/publication-resources/news-releases/news-releases-2019/abosede-onaba-lifetime-withdrawal-from-industry/


Calgary, Alberta—After more than 22 years of dedicated service to the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA), Executive Director, Bob Myroniuk, advised RECA’s Council that he will retire from RECA at the end of August.

Mr. Myroniuk joined RECA when it was founded on April 22, 1996. He was RECA’s first employee and only Executive Director.

“On behalf of the Council and all RECA employees, I’d like to thank Bob for his professionalism, dedication, and unwavering commitment to the goals and objectives of RECA,” said Rob Telford, Council Chair. “We wish him the very best and will miss him.”

Through his leadership, RECA is recognized as one of the leading real estate regulatory jurisdictions in North America. In 2006, Mr. Myroniuk was President of the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO), and in 2014 he was the founding Chair of the Real Estate Regulators of Canada.

Prior to joining RECA, Mr. Myroniuk was a lawyer in private practice and served as the Executive Director with the Government of Alberta in Housing and Consumer Affairs. In this position he was responsible for the development of the Real Estate Act of Alberta (1995) and implementing a transition from government regulation to self-regulation of the real estate industry.

He earned his Bachelor of Science and Law degrees from the University of Alberta, and he has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Victoria.

An executive search consultant will assist a Council appointed selection committee in the search for RECA’s next Executive Director. The committee includes one Council member from each of the four industry sectors and the public member appointed to Council by the Minister of Service Alberta.

RECA will announce more details about the opportunity in the coming months.

 

 


NOTE: Mr. Land’s suspension ended on May 31, 2019, as he has fulfilled all the requirements to reinstate his licence.

Calgary, Alberta – On February 28, 2019, a Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) Hearing Panel suspended the real estate licence of Wayne Land for three months; ordered him to pay fines and costs totaling $10,500; and, ordered him to complete an educational requirement.

The Hearing Panel found Mr. Land:

  • used money held in trust in a manner contrary to the legislation and to the terms of trust (including the term requiring security deposits to be managed in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act), in violation of section 25(1)(d) of the Real Estate Act.

Mr. Land was most recently the real estate broker for Oakwood Management Ltd. in Fort Saskatchewan. More information is in the Hearing Panel Decision.

The temporary broker for Oakwood Management Ltd. is Marion Bertie.

 

https://www.reca.ca/about-reca/publication-resources/news-releases/news-releases-2019/wayne-land-real-estate-licence-suspended/


Calgary, Alberta – March 1st marks Fraud Prevention Month across Canada. The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is taking action to raise awareness about common fraud scenarios in the real estate sector.

“During Alberta’s economic downturn we’ve seen an increase in certain types of fraud schemes and misleading behaviour,” said Bob Myroniuk, RECA Executive Director.

“For example, earlier this year we issued a consumer alert about fraudulent seller financing.”

Seller financing is a type of mortgage where the seller lends funds to the buyer to facilitate the purchase of a property.

While this type of financing arrangement can be perfectly legal, RECA recommends consumers do their research, especially if a deal seems too good to be true.

“This year we are partnering with other organizations, such as local police services, the RCMP, and the Better Business Bureau, to connect with the Alberta public and raise awareness about fraud,” said Mr. Myroniuk.

“Really it’s about stepping up and raising awareness about what we’re seeing as a regulator, and making sure that consumers are aware and informed in their dealings with industry professionals.”

RECA’s investigations team will be at the Fraud Prevention Month kick-off event this weekend:

Saturday March 2, 2019
Cross Iron Mills
261055 Crossiron Blvd, Rocky View County #44, AB
8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Posters, infographics, and articles about the various types of real estate and mortgage fraud are available on RECA’s website, and consumers can follow us on social media for fraud prevention tips throughout the month of March.

RECA is the licensing and regulatory body for Alberta’s 15,000 real estate, mortgage brokerage and real estate appraisal professionals. Part of its mandate is to protect against, investigate, detect, and suppress mortgage fraud.


Calgary, Alberta – On February 28, 2019, the Executive Director of the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) suspended Judy Nelson, an unregistered real estate associate broker in the Calgary area.

Ms. Nelson has failed to comply with an order of a Hearing Panel. The suspension will continue until she complies with the Hearing Panel’s decision.

Ms. Nelson was most recently a real estate associate broker for Twin Oakes Real Estate 1993 Inc. o/a Re/Max House of Real Estate in Calgary.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is an independent, non-government agency, responsible for governing real estate, mortgage broker, property management, and real estate appraisal industry professionals under Alberta’s Real Estate Act. RECA’s mandate is to protect consumers and to provide services that enhance and improve the industry and the business of industry professionals.

 

February 28, 2019 – Judy Nelson: Real Estate Licence Suspended


Calgary, Alberta – The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is warning consumers about Samantha Myles, a former real estate associate in the Calgary area.

Myles is offering property management services without holding a licence and registration from RECA. Myles is advertising using her former real estate brokerages’ names to mislead consumers into thinking she is a licensed property manager when she is not. This has resulted in consumers being charged for services they did not receive.

If a consumer is using Myles’ services, they may not be protected by the consumer protection fund or covered under the professional’s errors and omissions insurance. These are only available if a consumer is using a licensed industry professional.

RECA issued a $25,000 administrative penalty to Myles for unauthorized practice, but RECA has information she is continuing to hold herself out as a property manager.

As we continue to receive complaints about unlicensed property management services across the province, RECA urges consumers to verify the licence status and authorized practice areas of industry professionals on RECA’s website by following these steps:

  • go to RECA’s “Find a Professional” search tool
  • click “search by person”
  • type the person’s full name, click “search”
  • check their status is “active” in the far left column
  • check their real estate sector in the far right column

Real estate industry professionals who are authorized in property management will have “P.M.” listed in the “Real Estate Sectors” column.

RECA also reminds consumers that only brokerages can receive payments for any purpose in a real estate transaction, including for commissions. Licensed real estate and property management professionals are not permitted to accept any payment directly from a consumer.

Using a licensed industry professional protects you as a consumer. It ensures the industry professional has the necessary education and experience to best provide you services and you are protected under the consumer protection fund in case of fraud or breach of trust.

If you have concerns regarding an industry professional, contact us at info@reca.ca.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is an independent, non-government agency, responsible for governing real estate, mortgage broker, property management, and real estate appraisal industry professionals under Alberta’s Real Estate Act. RECA’s mandate is to protect consumers and to provide services that enhance and improve the industry and the business of industry professionals.

 

February 5, 2019 – Consumer Alert: Samantha Myles – Unauthorized Property Management


Calgary, Alberta – On January 23, 2019, Scott Slimmon, previously a real estate associate in Red Deer, applied to permanently withdraw from industry membership.

At the time of his application, Mr. Slimmon was the subject of conduct proceedings under the Real Estate Act. The issues under investigation were whether Mr. Slimmon:

  • used his ability as a real estate associate to gain access to a property for a personal reason unrelated to selling the property
  • failed to be honest and provide complete information asked for as part of the investigation

At the time of Mr. Slimmon’s withdrawal from industry, a disciplinary hearing was complete and Mr. Slimmon was awaiting a decision as to sanctions and costs of the Hearing Panel.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta approved Mr. Slimmon’s application to withdraw, and this results in a voluntary lifetime prohibition from industry membership; conduct proceedings are now discontinued.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is an independent, non-government agency, responsible for governing real estate, mortgage broker, property management, and real estate appraisal industry professionals under Alberta’s Real Estate Act. RECA’s mandate is to protect consumers and to provide services that enhance and improve the industry and the business of industry professionals


Calgary, Alberta – On January 23, 2019, Jayant Soni, previously a real estate associate in Edmonton, applied to permanently withdraw from industry membership.

At the time of his application, Mr. Soni was the subject of an investigation under the Real Estate Act. The issues under investigation were whether Mr. Soni:

  • upon multiple renewal applications, failed to notify the Executive Director of criminal charges from 2010

At the time of Mr. Soni’s withdrawal from industry, an investigation was complete and the case was ready to proceed to a hearing.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta approved Mr. Soni’s application to withdraw, and this results in a voluntary lifetime prohibition from industry membership; conduct proceedings are now discontinued.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is an independent, non-government agency, responsible for governing real estate, mortgage broker, property management, and real estate appraisal industry professionals under Alberta’s Real Estate Act. RECA’s mandate is to protect consumers and to provide services that enhance and improve the industry and the business of industry professionals


Calgary, Alberta – On January 23, 2019, Suneet Kumar Sharma, previously a real estate broker in Calgary, applied to permanently withdraw from industry membership.

At the time of his application, Mr. Sharma was the subject of an investigation under the Real Estate Act. The issues under investigation were whether Mr. Sharma:

  • made misrepresentations to clients and third parties
  • participated in a fraud scheme
  • participated in fraudulent or unlawful activities

At the time of Mr. Sharma’s withdrawal from industry, an investigation was complete and the case was ready to proceed to a hearing.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta approved Mr. Sharma’s application to withdraw, and this results in a voluntary lifetime prohibition from industry membership; conduct proceedings are now discontinued.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is an independent, non-government agency, responsible for governing real estate, mortgage broker, property management, and real estate appraisal industry professionals under Alberta’s Real Estate Act. RECA’s mandate is to protect consumers and to provide services that enhance and improve the industry and the business of industry professionals


Calgary, Alberta – On January 23, 2019, Cassandra Munday, previously a real estate broker in Airdrie, applied to permanently withdraw from industry membership.

At the time of her application, Ms. Munday was the subject of an investigation under the Real Estate Act. The issues under investigation were whether Ms. Munday:

  • Failed to fulfil fiduciary obligations to clients
  • Made representations that intentionally deceived clients
  • participated in fraudulent activities in relation to property management
  • engaged in conduct that undermines public confidence in the industry

At the time of Ms. Munday’s withdrawal from industry, the investigation was not complete and there had been no disciplinary hearing, admissions, or findings of fact.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta approved Ms. Munday’s application to withdraw, and this results in a voluntary lifetime prohibition from industry membership; conduct proceedings are now discontinued.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is an independent, non-government agency, responsible for governing real estate, mortgage broker, property management, and real estate appraisal industry professionals under Alberta’s Real Estate Act. RECA’s mandate is to protect consumers and to provide services that enhance and improve the industry and the business of industry professionals


Calgary, Alberta—As Canada’s mortgage rules have tightened, the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) acknowledges consumers may consider alternative financing options to purchase or sell real estate.

RECA urges vigilance, as incidents of fraud or misleading behaviour around seller financing are on the rise in Alberta.

Seller financing, also sometimes known as a vendor take-back mortgage, is a type of mortgage in which the seller lends funds to the buyer to facilitate the purchase of a property. “Rent to own” agreements fall into this category.

“Seller financing is an acceptable alternative to securing financing through a traditional lender,” said Bob Myroniuk, Executive Director. “However, when entering a deal that involves seller financing, we’re urging consumers to be vigilant, and understand exactly what they’re getting into.”

As the governing authority for regulating real estate and mortgage brokerage professionals in Alberta, RECA asks consumers to consider the following advice and red flags:

  • Hire your own licensed real estate and mortgage brokerage professionals: your own licensed professionals must act only in your best interests – above their own interests and those of other people. If a real estate professional representing a seller suggests a seller financing opportunity to facilitate a transaction between the seller and the buyer, this isn’t necessarily a fraudulent offer, but it may be a red flag and warrants further review. Your own real estate and mortgage professional can make sure your interests are looked after. Check your professional’s licence by using RECA’s “Find a Professional” tool on the RECA website.
  • Talk to a lawyer: have your own lawyer review the contract to ensure the agreement is legal. If the seller or the seller’s real estate professional insists on using a specific lawyer, this is a red flag.
  • Verify the property title: it is always good to know exactly who owns the property and what is registered on title, particularly a mortgage. If a substantial mortgage is registered on title, then the funds the seller claims they will lend you may be the bank’s funds, not their own. This is another red flag. You can search titles online through Service Alberta’s Spatial Information System.
  • Ensure the contract is complete: read the contract to ensure it specifies who will make mortgage payments, to whom, and if applicable, that any lender on title is aware of and approves this seller financing arrangement. It’s a red flag if the contract does not specify who will be making payments, and to whom.

More information and specific scams can be found on RECA’s website. Find out more about mortgage fraud in general with our Mortgage Fraud Awareness and Prevention resources.
If you suspect a seller or a real estate professional is involved in fraud, contact us at info@reca.ca, or submit an anonymous tip using our online fraud tip submission form.

The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) is an independent, non-government agency, responsible for governing real estate, mortgage broker, property management, and real estate appraisal industry professionals under Alberta’s Real Estate Act. RECA’s mandate is to protect consumers and to provide services that enhance and improve the industry and the business of industry professionals.