Disturbing real estate story: He buys his client's house at a low price

Troubling real estate story: He buys his client­­­'s house at a low price

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Paul Azar boasts on his website for luxury agency Sotheby's that he is a brokerage luminary who places “integrity” at the heart of his practice.

In 2012, he also took part in the program Dans l'œil du dragon to present a concept of beanie-mittens that would have received the support of the dragons François Lambert and Dany Vachon, according to his profile on the Sotheby's website.

Troubling history in real estate : he buys the house­­­ of his client at a low price

PaulAzar

Sotheby's International
Montreal

However, this broker who was active in the Gatineau region was fined $4,000 last January . His license was suspended for 60 days and he was reprimanded.

He found himself before the OACIQ Discipline Committee for having bought the house of a client at a very low price. yet he was supposed to sell at the best possible price.

The property in question, located in Chelsea, Outaouais, was first listed by Azar on Centris at $1.15 million. The price was later lowered to $899,000. However, on Facebook, Azar went so far as to write that the property could be sold for just $699,000 and it was still negotiable.

This significant price drop obviously did not take long to attract the interest of potential buyers.

LOTS OF INTEREST

“Overall interest: very high. Buyer will make an offer: probably,” another broker wrote to him.

However, rather than respond to this interest, Paul Azar ultimately decided to purchase his property himself. client, for $450,000, two and a half times less than what was initially requested.

Two years later, in 2019, he put the same property back on the market, with the same photos , for $1.1 million. He eventually sold it for $880,000, which was $430,000 more than he paid.

A photo of the interior of the Chelsea property in question.

These are photos posted on Facebook which aroused the suspicions of the broker who had not received any news from Azar.

As part of his investigation, the OACIQ trustee was able to garner Azar's admission that there was tremendous interest in the listed price for the house.

“According to Me [Isabelle] Martel [the trustee's lawyer], the respondent prioritized his own interest to the detriment of that of the seller, who was deprived of obtaining the best price”, is it summarized.

NO REGRETS

Paul Azar told us he had no regrets in this case. It was his client who had asked him to sell quickly and it was the latter himself who had offered to buy his house at a very good price, he argued.

“They never gave me the chance to explain myself. […] There were exaggerations during the trial,” he said of his disciplinary disputes with the OACIQ.

He described his decision to plead guilty as “a business decision.”

He said the 40-foot indoor pool made electricity costs for the 8,000-square-foot home, among other things, reach $20,000 a year, which put off a lot of potential buyers.

He said he invested $10,000 to $15,000 to re-stage the property and “make some tape -à-l'œil” after its acquisition, which contributed to its value.

Troubling real estate story: He buys his client­­­'s house at a low price

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