Two Que. real estate brokers under investigation for submitting bogus bids on homes
A pair of real estate brokers have had their contracts terminated by RE/MAX and are also under investigation by their professional order.
The realtors are Christine Girouard and Jonathan Dauphinais-Fortin.
A La Presse investigation revealed they allegedly had friends and family members submit bogus offers on homes they were selling to create a sense of competition among legitimate buyers to drive up prices.
Girouard is one of the stars of the reality TV show "Numero 1." She and Dauphinais-Fortin are now facing an investigation by the real estate governing board of Quebec (OACIQ).
On Wednesday, RE/MAX Quebec announced it was cutting ties with the two agents.
"Such behaviour goes against our values and the rules of the OACIQ, in addition to overshadowing the rigorous work of the members of our industry," RE/MAX Quebec said in a statement.
"The work of brokers is based on the relationship of trust with their clients, which is an essential element in a real estate transaction," it continued.
Terry Kilakos, founder of North East Real Estate, says the way the bidding process works encourages buyers to overpay.
Offers are kept confidential, leaving prospective buyers having to guess how much they need to bid to secure a home.
"There needs to be transparency in the offers that are coming in," he said. "So basically, if you're bidding on a house that's selling for $500K and you're going in for $490K, and you have somebody coming in and telling you, you need to bonify this offer because we have competing offers, you need to know what those offers are."
According to La Presse, in at least one instance, Girouard and Dauphinais-Fortin had a friend submit a lowball offer to scare a prospective buyer into unnecessarily upping his bid by $40K.
Neither Girouard nor Dauphinais-Fortin returned CTV's request for comment.