We contracted with Showhomes to place a home manager in our house while it was on the market. They did not provide the service we paid for.
The home manager that they placed in our home 9 months ago was a nightmare. He didn't pay utilities and subsequently had them disconnected for non-payment, which we only found out about when a buyer's inspector would not perform the inspection without functioning utilities, causing the buyers to terminate the contract. He changed the locks without our permission. He did not maintain the yard or pool. Each and every bit of feedback we received from showings specifically noted that the pool was filthy and/or green or that the yard was overgrown, not that the house looked nice. The staging was, of course, one of the main reasons we contracted with Showhomes since we had already moved out of state when we put the house on the market. He did not pay the pool service for quite some time, resulting in the pool service threatening to put a Mechanic's Lien on the house right when we were trying to close escrow.
The list of complaints we have is quite long, but no one from Showhomes seems to be very interested in responding to us. We've called, emailed, and even sent a certified letter (which they never signed for). It was a long, very tedious situation, having to stay on top of what was happening to our home from 3000 miles away. When we contracted with them, they assured us that they would take one of the major worries off our list when they took over managing our home. We could rest assured that everything would be taken care of. Nothing could be further from the truth. They added so much more stress to our lives and made our selling process very challenging.
We contacted the owner every time we received bad feedback or heard something from a realtor about the condition of our home, and we were assured each and every time that it would be taken care of, and that this was not the way they do business. But nothing ever changed. The bad feedback kept continuing. And Showhomes' response was always the same, but nothing ever improved.
Additionally, the guy they placed ** our "home manager" attempted to engage us in a lease-to-own deal separate from Showhomes. We didn't know it ** the time, but he was unemployed and beginning to incur late charges on the utilities. Had we agreed to this contract with him, the house would've been tied up in a lease for six months and he wouldn't have been able to even make the lease payments.
Selling a home is stressful enough, but add to it being 3000 miles away, and it's almost off the charts. When we contracted with this company, we were assured and promised that we would have nothing to worry about. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, they added a tremendous amount of extra stress throughout the entire nine months the home manager was in our home. It was a constant string of issues that never seemed to get resolved.
They received the entire amount ** our closing, which we feel is not justified. They were in breach of contract many, many times and did not provide the worry-free experience we were promised. We lost a contract directly because of the home manager's inability to pay the utilities.
We have requested a full refund, but they have chosen not to respond to phone calls, emails, or certified letters.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
** least they acknowledge that there were multiple issues, ** evidenced by their 13 page response. Conveniently, they left out the emails where they assured me that this was NOT the way they typically do business (see below for the most recent).
Regarding Mr McDaniel trying to purchase our home, HE contacted us and made ** offer of leasing-to-own. Obviously, we wanted to get the house sold, so we entertained his offer, but he was not able to come up with the amount we requested ** a down payment. We found out later that he was unemployed ** the time.
Regarding my "online assault", I posted one-star reviews because that is the level of service we received. If it had been four-star, then I would have posted four-star reviews.
These folks are clearly not interested in working towards a resolution.
Most recent email stating that this is not the way things were supposed to go when we contracted with them:
**********@aol.com Apr 27 ** 10:04 **
I agree with you wholeheartedly, ****, that Ephraims financial difficulties have created stress to this situation. He was chosen for your home because we wanted a seasoned home manager that would do ** excellent job ** he always had in the past. You are correct that this is NOT the way it is supposed to go.
I ** deeply and sincerely sorry. You should not have to wonder or worry about your home when it is in our service. We are scheduling with him regarding his move out and will get back with you ** soon ** it's all confirmed.
I, again, offer my most sincere apologies.
***** C. ****
Showhomes OF AMERICA
In a message dated 4/27/2016 11:15:18 A.M. Central Daylight Time, *******@yahoo.com writes:
Got a note from the pool gal that everything was paid. After talking to Dan Harker, and then David this morning, we're all just baffled ** to why this keeps happening. When we contracted with ShowHomes to provide a home manager, we were under the impression that your service would help provide peace of mind while we had our home on the market, and being so far away. Having it unsold for so long has been stressful enough, but then we had the endless list of difficulties with Ephraim. This whole situation has caused ** untold measure of stress that I feel should not have occurred. One oversight, sure, things happen. But it has been one thing after another. And they are things that your contract states explicitly your home manager would be responsible for.
Needless to say, it's not what we anticipated when we had him move in.
I'd like to know his anticipated move out date so I can make sure to handle the utilities so the new owners won't have any problems when they take possession on the 12th.
Final Business Response
Date: June 17th, 2016
To: Better Business Bureau via fax and email
**************@dallas.bbb.org and fax XXX-XXX-XXXX
Re: Complaint #91374143 (Ref XX-XXXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXX-X-XXXX)
(******* vs. Showhomes of America)
From: Showhomes of America, ***** C. ****, President
XXXXX Hillcrest Road, Suite 172, Dallas, TX XXXXX
In regard to the complaint #XXXXXXXX our response is ** follows:
Our response is ** follows:
Ms. ******* references ** email in which I express my regrets for any worry that she had. I stand by that today. We try to perform our service ** no hassle to the seller. However, ** mentioned in our original response letter , Mr. McDaniels loss of a job and finances which resulted in his gas being shut off was incredibly embarrassing to Showhomes professionally. My staff and I take our service very seriously and strive to make sure everything goes ** smoothly ** possible and we do become distressed in cases such ** this. We have cried many tears of joy and frustration in our 30 years of business.
Ms. ******* could have requested Mr. McDaniel to vacate if she were unhappy with our services in accordance with her contract. She chose to have Mr. McDaniel remain and Showhomes acted quickly and efficiently in our dealings with Ms. ******* and the property in accordance with our contractual agreement. If Ms. ******* would have opened up a dialog regarding our fee for service when she asked us to remain in the property it could have been discussed and we could have made a determination, ** that time, if we wanted to proceed with our service without charging a fee. She did not. We did not receive the full amount ** closing, ** she states, ** Showhomes deducted the utility amounts prior to sending the fee for service invoice to the title company. She was made whole.
We strive for all our owners and home managers to have great experiences with our service but ** experience can only be what you are willing to allow it to be. Ms. ******* has written very strong language about our service online which has resulted, to date, a loss of business with four (4) home owners thus far. She threatened to harm our business if we didn't pay her and she has succeeded. Ms. *******, again, should have allowed us to cancel our contract with her on both occasions that we offered to do so prior to closing. She chose to continue the benefit of our service and that service comes with a contractually agreed upon fee.
Ms. ******* is not due any further reimbursement nor refund per our contractual agreement
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I'm not exactly sure how to respond to this. I've never encountered a company so adamantly opposed to working towards a solution with ** unhappy, paying customer. We are completely willing to reduce the refund we're asking for, but they seem to be so obstinate about this whole thing, that I don't see us reaching ** agreeable solution with them.
While there were obviously multiple issues with the home manager they chose for our home, our main complaint is that they did not abide by their contract and they allowed Mr McDaniel to fall way behind on utilities, ** well ** the monthly fee they collect (per Mary Peterson). They did not require him to maintain the monthly pool and yard services, even though we asked many, many times if everything was being kept current. Additionally, when they discovered last year that he had lost his job, they should've immediately taken steps to remove him from the home and give us the option to either have him replaced with another home manager or to just vacate our home. They never even told us what was happening. We did not learn of Mr McDaniel's lengthy unemployment and financial difficulties until recently.
When Ms **** references the time that we asked them to remove Mr McDaniel after the first contract fell through partly due to his negligence, we discussed it with ShowHomes management and since we had another couple who were interested in writing a contract, we opted to not cause a big disruption by having everything in disarray ** the home. ** no time did we discuss the fee.
Regarding their claim that we somehow tried to extort money from them, it's OUR money. We simply asked for a refund of the fees WE paid. We never demanded they give us additional money in exchange for reviews. If they do not want one-star reviews, then perhaps they shouldn't provide one-star service. ** I've said before, if we had received four-star service, we would have posted four-star reviews everywhere that we posted the one-star reviews. It's unfortunate that they feel they lost revenue due to our reviews, but we lost a measurable contract for the full asking price of our home partly due to their negligence. Saying that four people decided not to use their company after reading our review is hardly a loss of revenue. The whole point of online reviews is for researching a potential company one might want to do business with. We are absolutely familiar with the way this company chooses to do business, so we are absolutely qualified to provide information on our experience. And hopefully, no one else will have to endure all that we've had to.
The loss of the first contract on our home was devastating. We ended up paying for several months of additional expenses (i.e. taxes, insurance, etc) directly because of that loss of contract. I have ** email from the real estate agent who states that the contract was terminated partly due to the situation with the utilities (this was because their home manager had not paid utilities for several months and they had been disconnected).
From: Dan Harker <***@danharker.com>
Date: May 15, 2016 ** 16:12:22 PDT
To: David <******@yahoo.com>
Cc: **** ******* <**********@gmail.com>, Brad Popoff <****@bradpopoff.com>
Subject: Re: **** ******** Contract Offer
David and ****,
I wanted to respond to your question regarding the earlier contract that fell out. Although we had come to agreement initially with these clients, they ended up pulling their contract in part to the gas being turned off by the tenant. This caused them to have concern over the home's gas systems (i.e.. Pool, etc.).
Please let me know if you have any questions.
****** Williams Realty
This has been a nightmare pretty much since the beginning and it hasn't let up ten months later. We simply request a refund of part, if not all, of the fees that we paid to this company. They did not do what their contract said they would do. Period.