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Burnaby man suing over sale of $13.8M West Van mansion

Burnaby man alleges he’s owed $450K for marketing of West Van luxury home

A 12,000-square-foot West Vancouver luxury mansion that recently sold for $13.8 million is now the subject of a lawsuit by a Burnaby man claiming the sellers haven’t paid him for marketing the property to international clients.

Ali Ibrahim filed the lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court July 6, claiming property builders and developers Arsalan Mahboub and Sharareh Khamessipour hired him in March to market the mansion at 670 Southborough Dr., which had been listed for sale at $17 million.

Mahboub, who heads up Brontes Homes, bought the property at the beginning of 2015 and built the luxury home, described in real estate listings as a “European-inspired Beverly Hills mansion,” in 2017.

The mansion, which features an infinity swimming pool, private tennis court, home movie theatre, private elevator, golf simulation room and space for a 1,500-bottle wine collection, was put on the market in October 2017 for $19.58 million. It was later relisted this spring at $17.28 million.

In the statement of claim filed in court, Ibrahim alleges the builders who owned the mansion approached him in March after previous deals to sell the property fell apart.

Among those failed deals was a $17-million offer from two buyers who didn’t qualify for a mortgage, Ibrahim alleges in the statement of claim. Another offer of about $17 million was accepted but collapsed after the deposit that was to be wire transferred in U.S. funds was halted by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control over suspicions of possible money laundering, according to Ibrahim’s claim.

Ibrahim claims that around March 22, he “entered into an agreement” to “provide business advisory services” including a web and social media strategy to attract “exclusive buyers” and investors, by marketing the property to his “exclusive network of high-worth individuals and corporations in Canada and abroad ... .”

Ibrahim claims the deal was to give him “exclusive control over the sale process” for five months, until Aug. 21, 2018 and that he would receive a “business advisory fee” of three per cent of the purchase price for any offer $16.25 million or less. If the price was over that, he would get a further four per cent on anything over $16.25 million up to $18 million, according to the statement of claim, plus a “partnership bonus” of 40 per cent of any sale funds over $18 million.

Ibrahim claims that based on the agreement, he set to work “by appointing dedicated teams comprised of business consultants, social media gurus, Realtors, investment bankers specializing in mergers/acquisitions, venture capitalists with access to high-worth individuals and corporations from China, Japan, Korea, Canada, India, Iran, United States, United Kingdom and Middle East” to market the property.

Ibrahim said in the claim that based on his efforts, an offer of $15 million was received but rejected by the sellers, who said they wouldn’t accept anything less than $17 million.

Ibrahim further alleges in the lawsuit the sellers of the property also made his job difficult by refusing to allow access to the property at convenient times and giving conflicting statements about their intentions to sell the property.

In the lawsuit, Ibrahim states he has now “come to understand” that the sellers recently accepted an offer of less than $15 million and are in the process of selling the mansion “with no compensation” paid to him, despite his work to “create value for the property.”

Ibrahim is asking the judge to award him $450,000 as a business advisory fee, along with a declaration the sellers breached their agreement. He has also asked the courts to register a certificate of pending litigation against the property.

According to real estate records, the mansion sold on June 28 for $13.8 million, through West Vancouver real estate agents who specialize in marketing luxury properties.

None of the claims in the lawsuit has been proven in court and no statement of defence has been filed yet in the case.