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Saturday, February 4, 2023
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PROPERTY AGENT PUTS UP FAKE LISTING OF PROPERTY AS “MARKETING TACTIC”, FINED $5K

37-year-old ERA property agent, Terrence Lin, posted a fake listing for a semi-detached house, and when questioned about it, lied to the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA), according to The Straits Times.

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He was fined $5,000 for his offences and became the first person to be prosecuted for providing false information under the Estate Agents Act.

Background

Lin was hired between September and October 2020 by the owners of a house at Whitley Residences to sell their property.

The owners of the unit also hired another property agent, Gideon, to market their property.

Lin placed an ad in October 2020 on PropertyGuru for the property, with the asking price being listed at $4.8 million, before lowering it to $4.6 million in November 2020 because he got very little response.

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He then placed a fade ad on PropertyGuru for another unit at Whitley Residences, with a lower asking price of $4.38 million because he wanted to test the response of house hunters.

Lin said that it worked and he saw a couple of inquiries for his fake listing.

He then saw another property agent, Denise, copy his fake listing tactic to market the property and confronted her on 15 November 2020.

Denise said that her listing had been provided by Gideon, and Lin then complained about Denise to the CEA, saying that she copied his listing without permission.

Lin also provided false information to the CEA while recording his statement as part of the investigations, claiming that he had two resale units at Whitley Residences.

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He lied that the “owners” of the $4.38 million property had given him consent to market the property, and were not willing to reveal too much information because they didn’t want the neighbours to know that they were selling the unit at the lowest price in the whole development.

Three days later on 21 January 2021, Lin emailed CEA and confessed that he had no authorisation to sell the unit, revealing that the story was made up by him to get away from the recording officer in probing further on the matter.

After being fined $5,000 for his offences, the CEA said that they are commencing the process to revoke LIn’s registration as a property agent.

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