A complaint has been lodged with the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver after a real estate agent was caught on camera picking bags of fruit from the backyard of a home he was showing to potential buyers.
One of the homeowners, Jill Chan, said in a Facebook post that realtor Peter Yang was showing her family home to buyers on Friday while no one was home.
“After noticing our large pear tree and beautiful berry bushes … he started picking the fruit off the trees and eating it,” she wrote.
She alleges that the realtor then went back to his car and returned with plastic bags. In the video, he can be seen picking fruit and placing it in the bags.
Chan claims Yang picked every single fruit from the garden, encouraged the buyers to pick fruits and spat seeds all over the ground.
WATCH | Realtor picks backyard pears during showing:
The garden belonged to Chan’s late grandmother. She said it was her pride and joy.
“I don’t think it’s acceptable practice to bag up someone’s entire garden at a home showing like a free market,” Chan said.
It’s unclear whether the listing agent was present at the time.
Chan says the family installed CCTV around the house following a past break-in.
After she started to speak up about what happened, she says Yang drove by and dropped the bags of fruit onto their porch.
When Chan contacted the Vancouver police, she says she was told they couldn’t get involved unless something tangible was missing.
In a statement, the Vancouver Police Department said it is investigating the incident, and VPD will be following up with the complainant. There have been no arrests.
‘He didn’t think that was a big thing’
Yang declined an interview, but Charles Zhou, the managing broker at his firm, Luxmore Realty, says the realtor has since apologized.
Yang admits he made a mistake, the broker said.
“He didn’t think that was a big thing at the beginning, but after we talked, he realized that it wasn’t the right thing to do,” said Zhou.
Yang spoke with the listing agent and apologized profusely, offering to reimburse any damages, he said.
“I understand that Peter made really irresponsible and unprofessional behaviour during [the] home showing,” Zhou later wrote in a statement from Luxmore Realty. “I deeply apologize to the homeowner and her family members who were offended by such behaviour.”
Complaint lodged with real estate board
Zhou confirmed that a complaint has been filed against Yang with the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
Yang is willing to accept any consequences or punishments that arise from it, the broker said.
As well, Luxmore Realty will strengthen training for its employees, “especially educating them about property privacy,” Zhou said.
The Real Estate Council of B.C., which investigates complaints, is aware of the issue and said real estate professionals have a responsibility to act honestly and to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own.
“We expect the individuals we licence to act in a professional manner, and to consider their behaviour and actions in both their licensed and personal capacity,” it said in a statement.