Century 21 Complaint - Century 21 in Pittsfield, MA
January 20, 2009
To whom it may concern,
I am writing this letter in regards to the completely unsatisfactory performance of our buyer’s realtor at Century 21 Franklin Street Associates in Pittsfield, MA. My wife and I were first time home buyers and as such, felt that we needed a buyer’s realtor to guide us through the process. The services that [snip] performed for us were limited to setting up an automatic search for all of the surrounding towns, setting up appointments to see houses, and writing up the standard contract. The search that was setup only sorted on price and did not take into consideration any of our desires in a house (acres of land, number of bedrooms, etc.). We had to completely sort through all of the listings and try to determine which houses we wanted to see on our own, without any knowledge of the conditions of any of the houses. An example of the type of sorting that we had to do on our own was to eliminate a 96 acre property because we wanted something that was less than an acre.
The services that we felt were deficient were her lack of helpful comments when looking at a house, her inability to listen to us when discussing a proposed bid, her inability to relay correct information from the seller’s realtor to us, her desire to discuss her personal life rather than the current house when touring homes (which was a distraction when viewing the home), and her general unhelpfulness. In our search for a home we visited with [snip] close to 30 houses and never received any feedback about the house, even when there were obviously things wrong with the house. An example of such an incident occurred after visiting a house a few hours after a rain shower. The house had standing water in the basement without a sump-pump, but when we asked [snip] if she saw anything wrong with the house, she indicated she did not. I understand that a realtor might not want to give disinformation, but standing water in the basement is obviously a very bad thing.
When discussing a proposed bid we felt that [snip] was never listening to us, only trying to ensure the sale of a house. We were operating under a time constraint when buying our house and absolutely had to close by a specific date or we would lose our mortgage. We explained this situation to [snip] but during the bidding process she came back to us multiple times asking if we could move this date. The really aggravating part of this situation was that the closing date was over 90 days from when the contract was signed, but [snip] kept trying to assure us that closing dates over 90 days away were normal. After talking with our lawyer and a banker we discovered that 90 days was not the normal and we would have been unable to obtain a traditional loan because a bank would not tie up their money for 90 days. Along with the bidding, [snip] never stuck to the set times on a pending contract and was too lenient with the sellers. Some times the bidding when for up to a week. We ended up placing four bids on homes and somehow two of those were all of a sudden outbid. Yet, these homes had been on the market for months and no changes of the price had occurred.
The third major area of deficiency was [snip]’s inability to relay correct information from the seller’s realtor to us. Therefore, we began to start calling the seller’s realtor or even the seller in some cases, in order to know we were being told the information correctly.
We thought that [snip] was extremely unhelpful in trying to discover information about a property and about looking out for our interests. When we saw a house and were interested in the house we would ask about the availability of basic services such as cable TV/Internet and would have to contact the service companies ourselves to discover the information. Also when attempting to modify our bid after our inspection revealed the roof needed to be replaced [snip] advised us that it wasn’t worth trying to reduce our bid because the other couple wasn’t going to move on price. Considering a roof cost approximately $5000 dollars to replace, I would not consider trying to obtain some form of payment for a roof as not worth it. And yes, after pushing her to do as we asked, we were given some money from the sellers.
Overall, we had to do all of the research on how to go about finding and buying a home ourselves. [snip] was not a helpful resource. She would just tell us to look into any information we were curious about, with zero guidance from her. Even when writing the contract we had to review each and every word she wrote and correct it to make sense or to be correct. She did not know what the home came with, she did not calculate the numbers correctly for the bid, and she left out important details. We were especially disappointed that she did not even know the closing process well. We had to look up and ask others (such as our co-workers, lawyers, and realtors from other companies) as to what we needed to do and how to go about closing. We feel that [snip] did not represent your company anywhere near as well as when we have worked with your company in other parts of the country.