PHOTO: For Sale. FILE
Real Estate Agent Yaming Sun, also known as Jessica Sun, has been fined $35,000 for selling plots of land that were significantly smaller than advertised. The Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal found Sun guilty of misconduct and described her as “out of her depth” with little understanding of interpreting council plans.
In 2016, Sun told potential buyers at an Auckland subdivision that three plots of land were all over 600 square meters, providing ample space to build a 400 square meter house and a swimming pool. However, when the titles were issued in November of the following year, the buyers discovered that the plots were smaller than promised.
Lot 1 was only 374 square meters, 61 percent of the advertised size of 603 square meters. Lot 2 was 389 square meters, and Lot 3 was 455 square meters, despite both being advertised as just over 600 square meters. None of the land plots reached a final settlement.
The tribunal also found Sun guilty of disclosing the vendor’s financial situation to a prospective buyer, stating that he was “anxious” to sell as his bank loan was nearly due. Sun’s actions were deemed “seriously negligent” by the tribunal, and she displayed a lack of understanding of her professional obligations as a licensee.
Sun voluntarily canceled her real estate license in 2018 and has since moved overseas. The tribunal ordered her to pay a fine of $7,000 and $27,000 in legal costs. The committee prosecuting Sun expressed concerns about protecting the public from her negligence, and emphasized the need to send a strong message to other licensees about the consequences of engaging in similar conduct.
During the hearing, Sun did not attend but argued in her statement of defense that the misrepresentation of the plot sizes was the landowner’s fault, and she was merely passing on information to buyers. However, evidence presented by the landowner and inconsistencies in Sun’s witnesses’ statements undermined her defense.
Sun also faced charges of disclosing confidential information to a buyer via the messaging app WeChat regarding the net size of one of the lots. The tribunal determined that Sun did not have permission to pass on the information, and it was particularly inappropriate given the settlement issues surrounding the transactions.
In addition to the plot size misrepresentation and the disclosure of confidential information, Sun was found guilty of marketing the land without an agency agreement and discrepancies in the GST schedules in the sales and purchase agreements.