Mr. ******* agreed to compensate me when he listed a piece of false information about my home when it was listed for sale. I was never compensated.
I hired Mr. ******* and his company auction brokers to assist in the sale of my home. My house was to be put up for auction on October 26th, 2013, which it was and it did not sell. I had a contract with Mr. ******* saying that if the property did not sell, he had the right to list my home with his company for 30 banking days. I received an offer on my home in February 2014, and accepted it. Mr. ******* came to my home for me to sign the contract and after that is when the problems started. He in no way helped me through the escrow process of selling my home. He knew it was the first time I was selling a home, and according to his advertisements and the way that he described what his company did, he was to be representing me and my best interest throughout this process. I called him and auction brokers on numerous occasions for help and either never received a response or was put off for quite some time. Both the buyers agents and the title company working on the sale of the home were very frustrated with him because he in no way was an active part of the process. I had to completely represent myself. Then, during the appraisal process, when Mr. ******* was not present at all, it was discovered that he falsely listed my home as in fee, when it was in fact a ground rent property. The buyer wanted a home that possessed ownership of the property, and so in order to keep the contract I had to put out $1000 to convert the property from ground rent to in fee. Mr. *******'s office agreed in an email to cover the costs of this for me. Weeks went by and the settlement date was a day away. I had not heard from Mr. *******. He was aware that my father was injured due to an accident and that he had to be present at closing. My father had made special arrangements to travel over an hour in his condition to be at closing. Mr. ******* was also aware that I was 36 weeks pregnant. Needless to say, everyone except for Mr. ******* was working hard to make sure the house closed on time. On the day before settlement, a woman from Auction Brokers office told both me and the Title Company that they were not willing to cooperate with the title company as far as contributing the $1000 to change the property from ground rent to in fee like promised. Their reason for this was that Mr. ******* wanted to save money and use his own lawyer. Because of his decision to do this a day before closing, Auction Brokers said we would unfortunately not be able to close on time. They were aware of this situation for weeks and did not address it till the day before settlement and were willing to put me and my family in a compromising position just so Auction Brokers could save a few dollars. It should also be known that Charles ******* was getting 7% commission from me. The only thing he did was list my home and bring me a contract to sign and he was receiving 7% commission. Because of my situation and after talking with the Title Company, I decided to go ahead with settlement and put the $1000 out to complete the real estate transaction as scheduled. I emailed Mr. ******* and let him know how unsatisfied I was with his services and that I would like to know either way if he planned to compensate me. He never responded to me. At settlement, I was informed that Mr. *******'s office said that they did not represent me, that they were only my listing agents. In my opinion, that is false advertising. I was never informed that I was hiring someone with a 7% commission that would not represent me in any way. It should also be known that Mr. ******* said he would be present at my closing, and he was not there. I had no representation in the closing of my first home. I feel as though I was scammed in this process. Mr. ******* did not look out for my interests in any way, and cost me $1000 in the sale of my home. I would like to be compensated for the $1000 that I put out due to his discrepancy in my listing
I am seeking to be reimbursed $1000 that I had to put out to convert my home from ground rent to in fee at the settlement of my home. Auction Brokers listed my home improperly as not having ground rent when it did. Auction Brokers provided me with an email saying they would compensate me for this, and I did not receive any funds.
Response to ******* *******'s complaint:
Auction Brokers had an agreement to offer her property for sale at public auction on October 26, 2013, at which time the bid did not reach high enough to be accepted.
Ms. ******* did not have money to pay for the advertising; I advanced $600.00 to advertise her property for public auction.
We asked at the time the property was booked for auction (listed), if there was a ground rent. Our form shows that the response was in fee; it also shows that the response to the amount of ground rent paid (if any) was blank; we therefore took her word for it and listed the property as "in fee".
The title company wanted $1,000 to redeem the ground rent which was $39.00 a year, the capitalization redemption is only $600.00.
It was obvious that the title company was charging too much for this service; my lawyer advised me that he could have it done for less.
Had the question been answered correctly at the start of our marketing the property, the issue and complaint would not have occurred.
Our business venue is that of an auction company where hand holding is not as necessary as with a conventional agency. During the settlement period, I underwent a minor medical procedure, and while I may have not been as attentive as Ms. ******* would have liked, my Office Administrator was in contact with her and the title company throughout the settlement process. Emails, and phone conversations were noted on 3/4/14, 3/6/14, 3/13/14 and 3/28/14. Settlement took place on 3/14/14; the check for our fee was sent on 3/18/14 and received by us on 3/20/14. It cleared our bank on 3/27/14. A check was written from my company on 3/28/14 for Ms. ******* in the amount of $600 for the ground rent redemption. We did not have Ms. *******'s new address, so our office emailed her requesting that information. We received Ms. *******'s mailing address via email on Monday when our office opened. The check for the ground rent redemption was mailed out that day. It appears that Ms. ******* filed her complaint against my company the same day that we requested her mailing address. There was no attempt to withhold the $600.00 that we agreed to pay.
Ms ******* should be reminded that I reduced my fee by $ 1,010.00 (the buyer's real estate agent received 2.5% or $2,525 out of our fee); we advanced advertising for the auction in the amount of $600.00, and I contributed $600.00 toward the ground rent redemption without prejudice.
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Mr. ******* did in fact send me a check for $600, but did not reach out for my address to send the check until the day I posted my complaint to the BBB, which is a little coincidental considering it was over two weeks after I asked for a response as to whether or not he was going to reimburse me. I am happy that I received that check, but I am not satisfied because I paid $1000 for the ground rent redemption in total, which I have documentation for and I will provide to the BBB. In an email, which I will also provide, Mr. *******'s office sent me an email stating that they would pay for the cost of the ground rent redemption. They didn't say they would partially pay. They said they would cover the cost. I've never known it to be a good business practice to agree to cover the cost of something and then decide down the road that you don't feel like paying all of it. I really didn't feel like paying 7% of the sale of my home to Mr. *******, but because that is what I agreed to pay, I paid it. In response to the statement that Mr. ******* paid the advertising costs for the listing of my home, yes that is correct. But he states it in a way that makes it seem that he fronted the cost for me because I could not afford it, and that I should somehow be thankful for that. I have a signed contract between Auction Brokers and myself saying that I was not contributing anything to the cost of advertising. That was not because of any other reason than that was the agreement reached between me and them and it was set in stone. So I'm not sure why Mr. ******* even mentioned that, because he in no way was giving me anything free or up front for his services. After all, most real estate services don't request that and they also don't request such a high brokers fee and then hardly be present in the process of the sale of the home, which was what happened in this case. In response to Mr. ******* lowering his fee from 8% to 7%, that is also true, but listed in the contract it states that once the home goes on the market the brokers fee between owner and broker is negotiable, and that was exactly the case. In my opinion, it was only right that he lower it considering the services provided to me. Also, it is mentioned in Mr. *******'s response that his firm doesn't participate in "hand holding." I certainly was not asking for my hand to be held. But I was taking part in the sale of my first home and had hired someone who said he was a professional and would guide me in the process. If that was not what was to be provided to me, it should have been made clear and I would not have entered into a business agreement with him. Even the other participating parties made comments that he was very unclear about exactly what his business did. He told the other agents involved that he was not there to represent me, but he wouldn't clarify to them that he wasn't my agent. It is also stated in his response that the property was wrongly listed as in fee due to my error. That is false. As a homeowner and someone trying to sell my home, I would have never falsified information. Where would that have gotten me? To lie about the status of my home's ground rent status makes absolutely no sense. And people do make mistakes, but for Mr. ******* to accuse me of causing the error is so unprofessional. I would like to be compensated for the remaining $400 that I put out to cover the cost of ground redemption in the sale of my home.
Final Business Response
A $600.00 check was sent to Ms. ******* the same day we received her new mailing address, and it is understood that the check was mailed without prejudice. I addressed this issue in my last response. I did not agree to pay the excessive amount quoted to record the redemption of the ground rent, and indicated that my lawyer would do that. Ms. ******* did not consider that option. Ms. ******* did not disclose the fact that there was a ground rent; nor did she disclose the amount of the ground rent. Had Ms. ******* disclosed that there was a ground rent and the amount of that ground rent, we would not be having this issue now. To help Ms. *******, I reduced our agreed commission, covered the cost to purchase the ground rent, and we completed a conventional sale as a result of our agreement. I made more than reasonable contributions in order to complete the transaction. I have answered all of her allegations.