Real estate salesperson fined $14,000 and suspended 5 months for publishing advertisements containing inaccurate and misleading information

CEA Image 7 Mar 24

March 2024 - 3 min read

Paragraph 12(4)(a) of the Code of Ethics and Professional Client Care (CEPCC) states:
“Estate agents and salespersons must also comply with the following requirements in respect of any form of advertising including name, calling or any other cards: 
(a) they must not cause or allow to be made any advertisement that contains any offer, proposal, statement, representation, claim or information that is inaccurate, false or misleading; ...”

In this case study, we look at the actions of Abel Ang Pei Xiong (‘Ang’), a real estate salesperson (RES) registered with ERA, who was convicted by a CEA Disciplinary Committee (DC) of stating prices in his advertisements for new property developments which were significantly lower than the prices provided by the developers of the projects.

Case background

Between December 2021 to February 2022, Ang posted 3 online advertisements for 3 new property developments:

  • In December 2021 for Property A
  • In February 2022 for Property B
  • In February 2022 for Property C

ERA was appointed the marketing agent by the property developers of the above projects and had disseminated information on the projects, such as the developers’ price lists and the types of and the availability of units for sale, to their RESs, including Ang.

Ang could also obtain information about the above projects through ERA’s mobile app, ERAPro, as well as through a WhatsApp group chat where information about new projects would be shared by ERA with their RESs.

However, Ang did not check with either ERA or the respective property developers to ensure that the property prices listed in his various advertisements were correct. He advertised prices that were drastically lower than the developers’ asking prices in three online advertisements that he had put up for Property A, B and C, with the price difference ranging from $260,000 to over one million dollars.

Convicted on 3 Charges 

By stating prices in his advertisements which were significantly lower than the corresponding prices provided by the developers of the projects, the DC ruled that Ang had committed 3 breaches of Paragraph 12(4)(a) of the CEPCC for causing 3 advertisements to be made, each containing information which were inaccurate and/or misleading in relation to the 3 development projects.

In sentencing, the DC concluded that Ang was not being merely careless when he advertised the prices that he did, and that they were not genuine or inadvertent mistakes. Instead, Ang had deliberately advertised prices that were significantly lower than the developers’ prices, which led the DC to conclude that his advertisements were ‘grossly misleading’.

The misleading advertisements with their misleading prices were designed as bait to lure interested buyers, so that Ang could better reach out to a wider pool of buyers and build a relationship with them.

Such misconduct is misleading for consumers and also unfair to other RESs who had marketed the projects at the accurate – but higher – prevailing developers’ prices.

Ang’s actions could also affect the reputation of the developers as discrepancies between developers’ selling prices and prices advertised by RESs could cause potential buyers to doubt the accuracy or transparency of the selling prices, due to the price differences.

Ang was convicted by the DC of the three charges and fined a total of $14,000. He was also suspended for a period of 5 months from October 2023.


Industry Perspective 
By Shaw Yong
Exco Member, Singapore Estate Agents Association


As RESs, we need to be answerable for our professional actions and advice that we offer to our clients. As an analogy, take the example of a licensed doctor: He or she cannot give a wrong medical prescription, and say that it is genuinely not his or her fault – or that it was just an inadvertent mistake – when things go wrong.

This is also the reason why CEA has enhanced the professionalism of RESs in ways such as providing updates through the CEAnergy case studies, as well as the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses to support RESs in their continuous learning, to help them keep up with the changes in the real estate agency industry.

The DC’s judgement has emphasised that RESs need to be responsible for all professional action and advice given to consumers, and not simply brush away the responsibility that it was human error that caused inaccurate information to be provided, or failure to verify the accuracy of the information.

To err is human, but we must learn from our mistakes and do better. There should not be repeated offences or similar mistakes. It is the professional responsibility of each RES to be knowledgeable on all rules and regulations pertaining to estate agency work, so as to ensure that we give the correct advice and share accurate information with our clients.

Information accurate as at 7 March 2024

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