Really! How Stupid Are You?

Seriously Are You That Stupid?

Without prejudice and at the risk of whining or starting an industry war there are times when I just have to call it as I see it.

With 12,000 or more real estate practitioners in Vancouver it is inevitable that you will encounter those who are either stupid, unskilled, incredibly lazy, lacking ethic and ultimately unprofessional. These characteristics are an unfortunate by-product of the business and depending on your perspective this particular Realtor® may possess all of these attributes. I’ll leave that for you to decide.



As is my practice I review past performance as a measure used to plan for the future. It is a simple matter of taking stock of what works and what doesn’t and what has changed. This could entail altering technology tools, advertising, ensuring best practices are followed and refreshing my knowledge of real estate law.

This analysis also involves a review of the of Vancouver homes I have sold. Although my record keeping is systematized there are occasions where I must refer to the MLS® (Multiple Listing Service®), for a specific item. While following that process I referred to a listing I had sold in February of 2014. This property is back on the market and it is listed with the individual who acted for the buyer in 2014.

Love and War

In this business we call real estate we try to abide by standards, professional conduct and cooperation. Within that spirit we often share information that helps to facilitate a sale of a Vancouver property which was the case when this property was first sold. The broad stroke of that spirit can be encapsulated as the MLS®. While it embodies cooperative efforts some agents sometimes abuse that spirit. Such is the case here.

Professional Ethic

An professional ethical mandate within the MLS® is to always ensure that elements of the property both good and bad are disclosed to a potential buyer. To that end we Realtors are legally charged with the responsibility of ensuring ensure that information submitted to and subsequently published on the MLS® is current and accurate. An aspect of that responsibility is to not copy previous listing information to a new listing. Such action is frowned upon as the reused information is not current and more importantly, characteristics of the home may have changed in the interim with the result that inaccurate information is provided to a new buyer. The objective of the “no copy” rule is to provide a constant check to balance property information that is provided to a consumer.

Grand Room Grand Room


A number of things stood out when I reviewed my former listing.

First, is the common theme where the owner of the past year never moved into the home with her children as had been emphatically stated. That claim was a ruse designed to gain advantage during negotiation. I would not have been aware of this had it not been for the distressed neighbours calling to ask for the new owner’s contact information. The reason for the request was that they were having great difficulty with the tenants who the owner has installed and who as it turned out were being bad neighbours in creating general party havoc within the confines of the ultra quiet cul-de-sac. In short the established neighbours were pissed that the owner was being negligent and inconsiderate of the neighbourhood vibes.

Second and to the point of this post is that this agent decided not follow the MLS “no copy” mandate. Rather than providing new updated and supposedly accurate information about the property this agent instead availed himself of the original data and pictures scraped from my listing a year prior.

With snide tone, it should be noted that this agent is appears incapable of taking pictures with his cell phone. Foregoing the pictures of the house what is most outstanding is that this gentleman has reused a floor plan replete with my name and logo plastered all over it. The point being that if you appreciate the concept and cost associated with establishing a brand in your marketing efforts you are probably shaking your head in awe as you ask the question “are you really that stupid?”



Forgoing the fact that this listing is now priced $800,000 more than they paid a little more than a year ago, what Realtor® would choose to market their listing with my name emblazoned on it. At question is this man’s thought process. Suffice to say I am as some British folks might say – “Gobsmacked”!


To be clear you can’t make this stuff up – you can see what I’m talking about here. Pay particular attention to the floor plan. You can compare listing information here.


It is hard not to be righteous about this stuff but more importantly and what is sad is that this agent can be characterized by one or more of the categories mentioned previously. What is truly unfortunate is that his bad form reflects on dedicated Realtors® in the industry trying to do a fair responsible job for their clients.

About Larry Yatkowsky

Larry is a recognized real estate expert. A veteran professional, his experienced counsel leads Vancouverites in his west side community to place their trust in a man passionate about his work. Uncompromising ethics bring a balanced approach to realizing your real estate dreams.

When Life Moves You - contact Larry:

*Disclaimer: Statistics Courtesy REBGV. While believed to be accurate they are not guaranteed.
**Numbers provided may vary as they are dynamically posted by the REBGV.

Reader Comments:

John Says:
July 10th, 2015 at 6:55 pm

Hey Larry – I’m confused as this property is located on St. Clair Place in the listing, but the description says it is actually on “Cul-De-Sac street”. What a strange name and confusing name for a street. And perhaps he used your “before” pictures because the rowdy tenants weren’t so kind to the property. I wouldn’t be too upset about leaving your logo on the floor plan, it’s free advertising after all.

July 12th, 2015 at 11:46 am

Re: description- the home is on a cul-de-sac not a street. Another inaccuracy.
As for free advertising that benefits me- I don’t see it that way. I believe it attaches my brand to bad business practice.

BBcoq Says:
July 13th, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Is this a sign, kind of like people lining up around the block to take the realtor course or stock broker course when easy money seems to be had?

July 13th, 2015 at 6:49 pm

Re: sign- there is some element of truth to that however, the turnover is high. In this case it’s just sloppy work IMO.

Loon Says:
July 15th, 2015 at 7:48 am

Would it make sense to approach the realtor and have him take it down ? You should be at least compensated for your work and permission given to use it.

The seller sounds like they are being lead astray on a few different fronts (marketing, pricing, etc). Unless of course they are source of these shenanigans.

vangrl Says:
July 15th, 2015 at 8:49 am

Curious if you talked to him about it?

Also, that house will probably be demolished in less than a month:)

On a positive note, at least they rented it out, albeit sloppily.

July 15th, 2015 at 2:08 pm

talk to him – he knows.
demolished – possibly it is a weird floor plan

July 15th, 2015 at 2:10 pm

sense – in a pure world possibly
compensation – not likely nor desired
seller – China is known for its copycat philosophy so I doubt they are concerned.

frank Says:
July 16th, 2015 at 7:54 am


In fact, often it seems as if the Chinese realtors rarely take new pictures. they almost always seem to use the same pictures from the previous sale and sometimes they even use the same blurb written by the previous realtor!

July 16th, 2015 at 8:18 am

you may be right and if so, eventually should this practice become common place the reliability of MLS suffers and so too will the consumer.

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