Author Topic: Real Estate Agent Muckery  (Read 3667 times)

Pell mell

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Real Estate Agent Muckery
« on: March 05, 2014, 03:03:16 PM »
Not sure if muckery is a word, but it seems apt.  Warning: Prepare yourself for mass stupidity and actions based on emotions, not intellect.  Multiple multiple self face punches have already been administered!

So our agent seemed great.  Like a warm nurse with a big personality.  You could share a laugh but she'd make sure you'd take your medicine and do your exercises type of person.  We told her that we didn't know anything about houses (face punch) and were nervous to buy one with too many problems. She said, that was no problem! She would take care of us and make sure we got a good house.  We believed her because nurses (ok, nurse-like people) don't lie, right? (Face Punch!).

Since our condo was new, in the middle of downtown, in a really popular building with parking spot & locker, she sold it for a fair price, nothing fancy. My dog could have sold it.  And my dog is dead. The deadline was 8 pm for the paperwork.  She promised to keep us updated.  I finally called at 9, thinking everything had to be done by now, surely.  She exclaimed it was sold! And she'd known 2 hours before but she'd been driving and couldn't call. ??? (warning? face punch)

We started looking for houses.  Sunday we went to the open house . Monday night we saw it with our agent (the first house we saw with her!! Maybe face punch). She wasn't encouraging of me having an inspection because the sellers already had one done.  Regardless, Tuesday we had an inspection. Tues evening they were accepting all offers for the house.

(which is how they sell houses here these days. Your agent presents the offer and you have to wait around for hours, literally, depending on how many offers there are). The offers started to be presented 1 1/2 hours after we got the inspection report. It was hairy. We were fit to be tied.

The agent and I followed the inspector around as he explained what he was doing and what he was finding.  He seemed very diligent. I asked her how old the house was. It looked pretty new because of the stone work.  Agent said she didn't know, it wasn't in the info.  (face punch) Inspector estimated 65-80 years old which came as a shock. I asked her how long the sellers had lived there, she said she didn't know, it wasn't in the info.  I asked her when the renos had been done. She said she didn't know etc. (face...)

He recommended there be some grading done outside, some eaves trough re-sloping and downspout moving. He said he saw evidence of some waterproofing done where they said it had been done.  He noted that the basement washroom fan needed to be fixed. Over all it seemed manageable.

Then we came to the attic...

Pell mell

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Re: Real Estate Agent Muckery
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 03:18:17 PM »
It's getting kind of long. I needed some water. lol

He climber his ladder and said the attic hatch was sealed.  He got his knife out to cut it, then looked at Agent.  She shook her head.  "It's not our place."

Here, I should have asked her to call sellers for permission to unseal or walked away. Face Punch.

I said, but that's a problem. How can we buy a house not knowing what's up there or having seen it.  She was unperturbed. Lots of houses in the city have attics with no way of accessing them.  It wasn't a big deal.  "It doesn't mean there's a problem." 

Sigh.  What the inspector didn't say aloud as he was explaining everything, was that he couldn't find where the 2nd floor washroom (bathroom) vented to.  I missed it when i tried to read it that night.  But then after we bought it (Epic Face PUnch), I noticed that mention and started to do research on moisture and--cough, cough, spit, vomit--mould in attic.  Also, I asked for the photos the inspector took of the roof.  The plumbing stack, compared to the ones I looked at online, looked like someone's drunken uncle had pasted it onto the roof with some Elmer's glue that he'd stolen from a kindergarten class. There was no flashing.  There were only 4 box vents. (I never heard of any of this stuff before. lol)

Blah. Tried to get out of deal. Agent said it couldn't be done. But to make me happy she'd ask them if they would let us out and ask the next best offer if they still wanted the house. No go.

Then she sent over an invoice for the waterproofing that had been guaranteed for the basement for 20 years.  Only been done a few years ago. But she said, whoops, they'd just found out they were out of biz, so no warranty after all.

But for the piece de resistance...

Pell mell

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Re: Real Estate Agent Muckery
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 03:29:53 PM »
She sent all the paper work to the WRONG LAWYER.

She asked us for our lawyer's name. I said we didn't have one. She recommended hers who was fantastic but might not be available. He recommended another lawyer.  I emailed her to say your lawyer was a no go, but that I've called the other lawyer. Never mentioned his name or that we'd retained him.  I had got a quote from him.

But I got another lawyer instead.  Apparently paperwork had to be filed by Monday.  I've gotten a phone call from that 'other' lawyer's office saying that they had done all this work and title searches etc.  I said, What are you talking about?  She said the real estate firms had both sent over the paper to them.  I said, I never gave your name to them, and I sent the paperwork to my own lawyer. 

A half hour later, Agent emailed asking for my lawyer's info.
I sent it, asking, What's up with the other lawyer?
She said she would forward the info to her office and would 'clarify' things with the 'other' lawyer.

She hasn't gotten back to me and I'm not keen to talk to her.

I am not happy with her services.  I don't think we should have to pay her 2.5% for her 'work'. (5% divided between the 2 agents) of sale price to her.  How would you approach this?  Would you just ask her for her commission?

Simple Abundant Living

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Re: Real Estate Agent Muckery
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 07:58:51 PM »
How much would you be out to back out of this deal?

Another Reader

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Re: Real Estate Agent Muckery
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 08:18:21 PM »
The only lawyer I would call would be the one that would get me out of the deal.  In the US, you would have a case on failure to disclose, independent of the inspection.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Real Estate Agent Muckery
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2014, 07:04:11 AM »
I agree ^ +1. I would simply tell her the truth and she either gets you out of the deal or the legal fee's against her she will be paying. I am sure you must have similar laws or what would be the need for an agent. There to protect you. I wouldn't lie down on this one.  Good Agents get a bad rap because of what she sounds like (based on what your saying).

Fishingmn

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Re: Real Estate Agent Muckery
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2014, 03:50:32 PM »
Sounds like 2 separate issues to me -

1 - Whether you want to move forward with the deal.  If you are asking about getting out of the deal you need to engage a real estate lawyer.  If you are going to move forward put your foot down and demand your Realtor get her act together.  Go over her head if you must and contact her broker (unless she's the broker).  Refuse to pay for any work you didn't authorize.

2 - This Realtor may not be upholding her fiduciary duties to you.  You can pursue this with either her broker as step one or to the state Association of Realtors who have disciplinary boards.

Finally, while you can certainly ask about having a portion of the commission rebated I'm skeptical that this will be effective.  The seller has agreed to pay the full listing to the listing agent and the listing agent/broker then shares a portion with the selling agent/broker.  While it is definitely legal for the selling agent/broker to agree to rebate part of their commission back to the buyer it is unlikely unless it is agreed to up front.  You could threaten to file an Association complaint or post negative reviews all over the internet I guess if you aren't satisfied with the end result.

stpetesean

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Re: Real Estate Agent Muckery
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2014, 04:37:34 PM »

2 - This Realtor may not be upholding her fiduciary duties to you.  You can pursue this with either her broker as step one or to the state Association of Realtors who have disciplinary boards.


Most states and provinces don't require the Realtor to act as a fiduciary, the vast majority of real estate transactions are done by transaction agents who have a limited duty to the buyer and/or the seller unless you've signed a single agent agreement with them at the beginning of your search for a property, or in addition to a listing agreement. 

Your agents job realistically is to get you to buy a house, that's how she gets paid.  If you're upset with anyone here it should be the inspector if they told you they didn't need to see the attic, but if you told them not to worry about it then that's on you.  You made the decision to make an offer on the house without thoroughly reading the inspection.  Sounds to me like lessons learned, the other thing is...where do you have any damages here?  You have no idea if there is a problem in the attic, you haven't looked there yet...

Do you not have any clauses in the contract allowing for additional inspection, financing or other contingencies?  It's pretty easy to get out of a real estate contract usually, but your agent is going to do everything she can to keep you in the deal so she gets paid.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 04:46:11 PM by stpetesean »

Pell mell

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Re: Real Estate Agent Muckery
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2014, 12:31:35 AM »
Thanks a lot for all your input.

The lawyer said since we waived all clauses etc, we were not able to get out of the agreement.  If you don't waive everything, as well as have your inspection and mortgage pre-approval in place before you make an offer, you may as well not make an offer at all. Multiple offers on most any good house.


Most states and provinces don't require the Realtor to act as a fiduciary, the vast majority of real estate transactions are done by transaction agents who have a limited duty to the buyer and/or the seller unless you've signed a single agent agreement with them at the beginning of your search for a property, or in addition to a listing agreement. 

We did sign an agreement before we began that she would be both our selling and purchasing agent. She was going to 'take care of everything'.  I don't know if this makes a difference?

Our lawyer said that he would try to get compensation for the waterproofing issue. When asked, he said I could request compensation from agent for not delivering the service she promised, that we were not satisfied. But I guess it's not exactly satisfaction guaranteed.


If you're upset with anyone here it should be the inspector if they told you they didn't need to see the attic, but if you told them not to worry about it then that's on you.  You made the decision to make an offer on the house without thoroughly reading the inspection.  Sounds to me like lessons learned, the other thing is...where do you have any damages here?  You have no idea if there is a problem in the attic, you haven't looked there yet...
It was the agent who said not to worry about the attic, not the inspector. I asked Agent about whether this was a matter of concern and can you buy a house, really, without looking up there? She glossed it over. I had assumed (face punch) that Inspector's verbal tour of the house's problems were complete. I was shocked to find things in the Giant Report much later that he hadn't mentioned... Like 2nd floor washroom vent, and things I didn't even know to look for, like a plumbing stack. Etc. Which leads me to fear the attic.

But yeah, the attic might be okay. That would be... fantastic. They wouldn't let us look up there on our visit.  And the onus was definitely on us to press for attic entry or walk. And read, no, study, the whole report carefully before -ahem- bidding.

I've learned when you're in a rushed, high-pressure situation, don't buy a house when you're not feeling well and at the top of your game. You'll miss too much and make dumb mistakes, and emotion is more likely to take over. And maybe avoid crazy high-pressure real estate situations to begin with. Well, I have learned a lot, at least--about houses, real estate, and human nature.  And I will grow into a hardier flou-wa... Or something like that.

arebelspy

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Re: Real Estate Agent Muckery
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2014, 07:00:20 AM »
The lawyer said since we waived all clauses etc, we were not able to get out of the agreement.  If you don't waive everything, as well as have your inspection and mortgage pre-approval in place before you make an offer, you may as well not make an offer at all. Multiple offers on most any good house.

You keep saying this.  It's not true.  It's another line your agent has sold you.  Even in hot markets, a good offer that has a few reasonable contingencies will be accepted.  If not, move on.  Locking yourself into a hundreds of thousands of dollars purchase while having doubts is never good.
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stpetesean

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Re: Real Estate Agent Muckery
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2014, 02:32:11 PM »
Yeah, if you signed allowing her to be both selling and buying agent then you gave up your rights to have her act in a fiduciary capacity for you, basically her only job is limited confidentiality to both parties, a duty to act honestly and fairly, and to get the deal closed.

It's really important to remember the agent ultimately just wants to sell the house...and it's super easy to become a real estate agent, so a lot of them don't know the first thing about buying houses.  My wife has a license right now so that we can represent ourselves and access the MLS ourself...she knows absolutely nothing about buying houses.  Seriously, no clue.  She only got the license because in my business I'm restricted from holding a real estate license at the same time.  Some agents are amazing and worth their weight in gold, but a lot of them aren't worth anything.  I always love when someone like a Realtor or a salesman tells me not to worry about something during the buying process...of course they're not worried, it's not their money on the line!

I hope this works out well for you, and I hope it all turns out to be a lot of worry for not a big problem.  Plus, if you decide you don't like the house it sounds like the market is hot enough you might be able to get out of it without taking a bath. 

Good luck to you!