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Flipping report drops today

An independent advisory group struck to examine the hot issue of contract flipping in British Columbia's real estate market is set to release its final report today.

The group was launched by the Real Estate Council of B.C. in February amid allegations that some real estate agents were flipping homes multiple times before a deal closed.

The controversial practice, known as contract flipping, allows agents to make larger commissions by assigning contracts to new buyers at higher prices, while purchasers avoid paying the property transfer tax.

The eight-member advisory group, chaired by superintendent of real estate Carolyn Rogers, was tasked with making recommendations on how to protect consumers and strengthen public confidence in the regulation and practices of licensed real estate agents.

The group has considered a number of proposals, including requiring all contract assignments to be reported to the council and preventing agents from representing both buyers and sellers in the same transaction.

B.C. introduced new rules in May requiring Realtors to get the informed consent of the original seller for all contract assignments and to give profits from each assignment back to that seller.

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