Told I cannot say the Companys name now Complaint - Scammed by one of their Realtors

Review by scammed by con artists on 2011-01-04
VIRGINIA -- My husband & I were happy to find a home that fit our family's personal needs as far as space, price, location, etc. Unfortunately, we had recently married & both of us had homes that were also on the market. We visited the home during an open house & the realtor hosting the open house also happened to be leasing the home from its current seller. We looked, told our realtor we loved the home but were in a perdicament since we both had homes for sale & would need to sell at least one of them to make the deal happen.

Next thing we know, the sellers agent (remember, also the one residing in the home) contacts my agent with a creative idea...she needed a place to live while another home was being fixed up for her to live in...she would lease either of our homes...for 'one year or until the property is sold' Wow, we thought, she is a realtor...this could be just meant to be!

So we proceeded with moving forward...the sellers agent even came up with the lease agreement, stating $1000 security deposit, mentioned late fees on the rent, fees for return cks, etc...there was also a rather large weightlifting set in one room which we inquired about with the purchse...so they agreed to sell to us for $1000....therefore, we waived the $1000 security deposit & planned to return this to them when our home which they were going to rent from us sold.

So we closed on the new home, moved in...& the realtor moved into my husbands home as a tenant the same day...we even let them in 10 days before the 1st of the month & didn't charge them. While in the home, they suggested painting a room & painting some trim to which my husband agreed on & they agreed that they would also settle this when the home was sold. They proved to be a nightmare...rent was paid ontime the first month...next 4 were at least 2 weeks late including one NSF ck, etc...We relied on that money to pay the mortgage on the rental home while maintaining the mortgage on our new home.

Finally, the home sells, we were so relieved to get rid of these tenants...so with the months rent already 2 wks late...she calls my husbad & asks him to pro rate & pay her $650 for painting, etc...My husband was not so nice, & told her we would settle at closing & that he hadn't even seen receipts, etc....

Next thing we know, late in the afternoon on the day before our closing for the sale...we find that the realtor/tenant had contacted our closing office to request $1300 plus from our proceeds!! They were told they needed proof, so she went to the local courthouse & filed a mechanics lien for this $1300!! We had them agree to hold out $3000 from our proceeds to resolve this within 90 days. We had to get an atty...who filed a notice requiring her to respond/prove this within 60 days or it would be dismissed...the time passed with no response. Then we find that the closing co released our $3000 to the court system so we had to wait again for a court date to get the money....long story short, judge wouldn't hear the case without everyone having an atty (?)...so now, 9 months later...we still don't have our $3000 & the realtor sued us for $1200 plus wanted the $1000 weight set back!!!! We have lived in the house & had the weight set (per lease agreement) for over one yr...obviously her $1000 security deposit wasn't returned since they failed to pay the last months rent & had late fees/nsf fees totaling over this amount....

During the last 9 months...they have tried everything to drag this out...finally took back their request for the weights after costing us $2-300 in emails/negotiations thru the attys...so now they want $750 after going back & forth for several days...We were scammed by this realtor, plain & simple...her mechanics lien included things like a stove (yet they removed my husbands 2 yr old stove & we never found what they did with), removed his custom drapes & billed him for new ones...billed us for shower curtains & liners even when we had provided them to begin with...we have found that they filed bankruptcy the month before placing the mechanics lien & we even had a local business owner show up at our doorstep looking for them to collect on a bad check they'd written (since they never changed their check address)...The realtor is a scammer & the mechanics lien was fraudulent....but guess who paid the price for? We did...including attorney fees which basically wiped out our $3000 after we agreed to pay her $750 just to be done with her!! (We didn't have much faith in the legal system here either...since most of the atty's are involved w/the local board of realtors, etc...judge would likely be biased on on her side anyway) BUT, sad that a good company's reputation, at least for US is scarred by one bad & unethical realtor!!
Comments:8 Replies - Latest reply on 2011-01-05
Posted by rockfishing on 2011-01-04:
Whenever dealing with a realtor always think 'used car salesperson'. They are not to be trusted. You were scammed. Reading your story was like watching a car crash happen before your eyes. Your best bet at this point is to just cut your losses. If you want to continue your aggravation you can pursue a claim in small claims court.

Whenever you have any real estate transaction, hire a real estate attorney. The $400 to $1000 extra you spend is a small price to pay when your dealing with the cost of housing.
Posted by T on 2011-01-04:
Agreed rockfishing on all points. We skipped the realtor and hired an attorney when we sold my mom's house, though I have to admit we didn't need a realtor. A realtor is definitely to be viewed with suspicion.
Posted by azRider on 2011-01-04:
I'm a real estate investor and have an inactive real estate license. it sounds to me like you have a good case to bring cause to the local real estate board for ethics. I'd go forward with an ethics charge by talking to the local or national organization. don't be afraid to do this, you'd be surprised how well the ethics process is. also you don't mention what state your in, but in some states the dept of real estate has strict rules on such dealings and may offer a complaint process you can submit for your dealing with them. in some states lack of disclosure or lack of understanding can cause an agent to be fined or have their license revoked. check into the dept of real estate and the local board, if the local board won't help do to the sate board or national board of Realtors.
Posted by Skye on 2011-01-04:
ALWAYS, no matter what, hire a real estate attorney. It's well worth the extra costs, and he/she will be working for you, in your best interest. You won't have any surprises later on.
Posted by Pepper on 2011-01-04:
skye - not to mention many realtors know exactly which documents to file and what paperwork is required.

i'd recommend trying word of mouth myself.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-01-04:
VH not a rant...steer clear of this reality company
Posted by scammed by con artists on 2011-01-04:
Thanks to ALL who took the time to read my novel...and I truly APPRCIATE. Unfortunate as it is, my husband & I THOUGHT truth would prevail & they would never get more money out of us. Wish we had cut our losses before it got to this point. We even have legal fees to pay for the Title Co. who the judge made get an atty. to just tell why she released the money to the courts! We had also kept the Title Co/closing in the loop about this but the Realtor was also calling her...we feel this is why the money was released but she says her atty advised her to do so, which may be correct...but I still need to investigate the process of filing the mechanics lien...this was awfully easy for her to file, even though it was purely fraud. Heck, ANYone could do it & cause an innocent person legal fees like we had! I have been reading into filing an Ethics complaint...most definitely...I am afraid, however, that we have missed the time frame. I reside in TN...houses were all in TN, & the realtor has her license in VA I believe...so not sure if I go to Va or TN Board of Realtors...This all began 4/20/2010...& has been tied up in the legal system ever since...not sure what date the Ethics Committee would consider...Thanks again...& yes, lesson learned, ALWAYS have a real estate attorney. Live & learn. Could have saved much grief.
Posted by scammed by con artists on 2011-01-05:
LOL...the realtor is having us sign a no contact & no disparagment agreement, if I have that spelled correctly...on the release papers when we have to hand her over money for her fraudulent trick. I just hope that doesn't mean we are prevented from filing an ethics complaint if still within the time frame...we are waiting to hear from our attorney now.

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