Do any Realtors have ethics?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Kenneth in NC, May 30, 2004.

  1. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    OK before I start ranting let's have a little back ground. We have been looking for property in Tennessee. Below is the ad on the latest property we visited.

    #03260 $130,000.00 Nice country home situated on 5 acres in Northern Hardeman county, TN! This home features 9 bedrooms, 3 baths, 20 x 20 indoor garden room. 5 bedrooms, including the master bedroom, are located downstairs and 4 bedrooms upstairs with a large playroom. The property has a well and septic tank system. This home was built in 1995.
    Property No.: 41071-03260 Price: $130,000.00


    To see picture of it:
    http://www.unitedcountry.com/Pictures/41071-03260-84962.jpg

    NOW THE RANT:
    My wife talked with the realtor for 2 hours on the telephone. WE e-mailed back and forth for over a week. We made it understood what we would and wouldn't accept. The realtor agreed and we made an appointment that best suited her schedule.

    After an exhausting 13 hour drive we arrived in Bolivar, TN. Next morning we met with the realtor and off we went to see what we thought would be our dream home..NOT. The NightMare begins. Pulling into the driveway we notice that the "old homestead" referenced on the phone is in fact a delapidated old house with the roof caved in (so much for that extra storage space) Then here comes the rusted down old car.

    Now we go down the rutted drive to the house. First thing I notice about the house. There are shingles laying all over the yard, The roof looks like it will need major repair. Bear in mind that the realtor assured us that the house was "ready to be moverd into".

    OK we start in and the deck boards creak and dang near break, the realtor said I wouldn't try the steps over there they look a bit weak. We enter the house. OK the insides look ok so far. Everything is homebuilt (We think maybe a homesteader built this and went on the economy side) We didn't say anything but we had been told that this was built by a major homebuilder not homebuilt.

    The 20x20 garden room turned into about a 12x16 and it was NOT a garden room instead it had a snake cage and a plastic fountain, a banana tree and a ficas tree was growing against the wall. the floor was packed hard clay.

    Now we start the tour. The bathroom, the whirlpool tub has no water to it and looks nasty. The toilets flush after a delay. The lower bedrooms are 10x10 and 10x12 respectively. NOW we go upstairs.

    First thing we noticed was the WATER damage to the ceiling. The upstairs A/C did not work. The upstairs toilet was pretty dirty. The railing going up the stairs was loose and my daughter almost fell when it gave way.

    Now we went to walk the property line. We started up the driveway side and we thought we saw a Gazebo so we walked over to it NOPE It was a ALTAR Complete with Pentagram, Circle and some strange characters drew around them It looked like blood stains on the altar.

    we decided to pass on this property.

    Shouldn't the realtor have told us about the Altar? Leaky roof?

    I feel she should reimburse us for the wasted trip, what do you think?
     
  2. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Of course there are ethical realtors. And there are horrid ones, just like everything else.

    However, that really sucks, and while I doubt you'll have any luck getting reimbursed for your trip, if you have anything in writing about what the realtor said about the property, you may have some luck. Exaggeration to some extent is called "puffing" and may or may not be pursuable. However, if she misrepresentated the property, I'd start by contacting her broker. First do a search on misrepresentation by a "realtor" not a real estate agent (there's a difference) and you may have a case.

    Not to make light of your disappointment, but keep in mind that if it sounds too good to be true, it's probably going to be.
     

  3. Qvrfullmidwife

    Qvrfullmidwife Well-Known Member

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    :eek: :eek: :eek:

    I am sure that soem realtors have ethics...seems like every sellers agent that we have run into doesnt...then maybe we have just had a bad run...

    there was the property that we wanted...when our agent asked the sellers agent some questions she was told "we are supposed to have another offer coming in soon..." so we hustled...offered full asking price, CASH. We waited and waited...and had to discuss several times with the seller's agent the fact that while we had offered full asking, they really had this additional acreage that they wanted to sell as well and if we increased our offer to include that...

    turns out they didnt have another offer "coming in", they had had an offer in hand for over a month and merely wanted ours to use as leverage.

    then there was the property that we drove no small distance after repeatedly checking to see if the property was still available, only to find out that (1)the represented total SF included the unfinished attic, not current liveable space and (2)they already had two contracts, one accepted, one a back-up but thought "hey, a third might be nice!"

    then Friday's viewing included a house with the elvis impersonator who decided to hang around to give us a tour and discuss his career (but that is a general complaint, not realtor specific). It listing included the property with house "and additional manufactured home on property for inlaws or rental use" that we find out the seller doesnt even own but was trying to convince her family to give up but was suggested to list it to bring people in, and the barn also listed iwth teh property wasn't even visible until you were 15 feet from it as it was so overgrown...and with the caving in roof...

    :confused: :confused: :confused:

    Why is this so hard?! What part of "it isnt nice to play mindgames with people and deceive" didnt they understand when they were in their formative years?!
     
  4. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Most state Real Estate Commissions have a requirement that there must be a complete in detail (such as roof leaks, wet basements, etc,) Seller's Disclosure on file that must be given to the Buyer before closing. This is a long, 2 page document which lists the specific condition of the buildings, any property title problems, and a 1/2 page of every thing in a house that is working, not working, Not in the house i.e. water heater, stoves, furnace, septics, wells, pumps, fans, plumbing, etc. Next time ask for a copy of the Disclosure before you decide to make a trip. If the Seller has misrepresented the property on the Disclosure, potential Buyers have winable legal recourse. Realtor do not always have the information needed about a property as they can only go on what the seller discloses and/or tells them. It is not a matter of ethics on the realtor's part. He/she can only disclose/tell/talk about what the seller has disclosed. A realtor is not supposed to give out a personal opinion to a buyer UNLESS the realtor has a signed exclusive contract to represent ONLY the Buyer.
     
  5. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    I think if I was making that long a drive I would have looked at a lot more places.

    Realtors don't realy care,if its minor things you can always make a deal in writing that things be fixed before making the deal.

    I can't believe people buying property sight unseen around here then crying because something isn't right.Like if the Realtor says it takes Four Wheel Drive to get in plan on not getting out a lot in the Winter. :rolleyes:

    big rockpile
     
  6. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Oh I forgot I was looking at a place one time me and the Realtor was walking the property,we found ourselves surrounded with 6 foot Rattlers.He was ready to get out of there,I found it very interesting.I did buy the place,100 acres,6 Bedroom House.solid Brick.Use to be School House and Community Center.

    big rockpile
     
  7. Pigeon Lady

    Pigeon Lady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We're going to be out looking at places too in July or August. Like you we are going to have to drive quite a ways and stay a couple days to see what's available. I'm dreading something like this happening.

    When we first moved here we thought we would rent. One house we looked at had a big hole in the floor where the refrigerator would go. You could see right down to the dirt. When Ken made a comment about it the realtor waved her hand and flippantly remarked "oh your fridge will cover that up". Ken asked "you mean it won't be fixed??" She say's " Oh it would if you were buying the place, but you're only renting, what do you expect?!" She was quite offended when Ken told her what we "expected"!

    P.L.
     
  8. Realtors are right under Used Car salesmen. It's there job to get you to come see it. Then if that one doesn't work WELL then they can "fit" you into another property. Been There, done that, have whole wardrobe of T-shirts.

    You can request a refund the realtor may or may not give it to you.

    My biggest concern would have been the ALTAR in the yard. On the other hand they can now list it has "PAGAN HOMESTEAD FOR SALE" :)

    In the future try to find someone close to go give it the once over for ya maybe someone off this board would help.


    ---jean
     
  9. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We learned with the last home purchase the importance of having your own agent and NOT using the buyers agent. Never even occurred to me before, but we were sure glad to have someone on our "team" this last time.
     
  10. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    In defense of realtors, there are a lot of 'professional lookers' out there. It is a sort of hobby to them. Sometimes it is difficult for a realtor to determine who is just a looker and who is a potential buyer. I have been told it is one of the reason agents try to get you to do a drive-by first before an appointment is made to look at the property.

    In this case the agent should have known you were very interested in this particular property. Since a digital camera is pretty well standard equipment in a realty office you might have asked for additional photographs. For example, one of that 'inside garden room', each of the bedrooms, the kitchen, the baths and outbuildings. If it said 'usable barn' ask for a shot from all four sides. I know listing forms vary, but the ones I have seen give the size of each room. A good realtor should be more than willing to go the extra step to provide the information you want in advance. If they don't it should give you a clue either they or the property isn't worth dealing with.

    There may be hundreds of listing which generally fit the description of what you are looking for. A realty agent can't be expected to be familiar with them all. However, when one catches your eye, then they should be willing to come to up speed on it.

    Also be familiar with 'time sensitive' aspects. For example, someone I know has a house listed which is next to railroad track. If an agent knows what they are doing they won't schedule an appointment when a train is due past. In the Dayton, OH area one couple bought what they thought would be their dream house. It was only after they moved in they found it was on the flypath for an airport which was the hub for a freight hauler. Almost every evening about 20 plains would come in just minutes apart. Nothing was said about it on a disclosure as it wasn't considered to be a 'defect'.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  11. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If all you had was the realators phone calls then you got what you got. You should have ask for a discloure note from the sellers as well as photos of the interior.

    If the discription was the MLS info then you always need to validate that info.
    Did you specificly ask if the realitor measured the room sizes?


    your never going to get your travel cost back, so drop that idea. Should you? Well we dont have enough info. A realitor job is to sell the house for a seller. Telling a buyer the house is a piece of junk isnt going to sell it.

    If the realitor specifcly lied to you then I would be upset and send a letter to the local realistate board and maybe the realitor agency.
     
  12. uyk7

    uyk7 Well-Known Member

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    Kenneth in NC, first, sorry to hear what you went through. I gotta say though, thanks for the laugh! We bought our "livable house" sight unseen (but it was only $6000) based on the digital photos the realtor sent. Turned out it needed major repairs. The realtor managed to take very precise pictures. Did you ask about the current/previous tenets? Maybe they still live on the premises somewhere and use the altar on those special occasions when they climb out from their underground shelter. :haha: Any chicken feathers laying about? LOL.
    Sorry, couldn't resist!
     
  13. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Do not believe anything a realtor may say. Their only in it for the money. You are only a route to the money. I have learned so much I have started refusing to shake their hands at all.

    mikell
     
  14. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've dealt with some crappy realtors, in fact we just sold our other home FINALLY after 2 years on the market, and the realtor didn't do a darn thing, it's a good thing I happen to be a former broker and knew what needed to be done.

    BUT.... this attitude that all realtors are bad and con artists is pathetic. There are good and bad, just as in anything. And as in most things, if you feel really and utterly screwed over by your realtor, well you're probably just as much to blame for not doing your homework.

    Kenneth in NC, this is not directed at you, but at the attitude in general of the responses.

    I've also dealt with crappy doctors, crappy farmers, crappy neighbors, crappy relatives.... get my point?

    Talk about prejudice! Grrrrr!!!!
     
  15. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    you should have asked for aa disclosure before you went to see the property, and FYI, always engage your own realtor, the SELLERs realtor works for them NOt YOU!!, and will puff and preen any property to get you to look at ti , for me , the big tip off would have been price,
    the roof, they wouldnt have to disclose, unless you were making an offer ....
    as for the alter, that falls under religion, and they CANT tell you about it, for fear of a religious discrimination lawsuit, besides if you were pagan or wiccan, you would have seen that as an asset, not a detriment

    in the future, if youre doing ANY kind of SERIOUS looking, engage your OWN realtor, who will look out for YOUR! interests !!!! the buyer needs to have thier own realtor, otherwise, its like going to court, you wouldnt go to court without a qualified attorney, would you ?, well then dont buy realestate, without your own agent, unless you know EXACTLY what your looking for, and have a FIRM foundation in contruction and real estate law.

    i find it shamefull that this was a united country realtor, i have had NOTHING BUT GOOD from them , (seperate agents, 3 seperate transactions in 3 states)
    call the local united coutnry realtor, and talk to them about your experience, or call the local realtors board, and file a formal complaint, if you feel that strongly about it ,
    at least it will act as a heads up to that realtor

    we own a construction business, and are in the middle of developing some land for lots, , i deal with real estate agents all the time , there are good, and there are bad , theres one around here we joke about, his name is "Booker" and he has HUNDREDS of properties listed, but he is NOTORIOUS for not returning calls, the joke is, yeah he'll "book" or list your property, but someone else will end up selling it, and he will essentially do nothing , and collect his commision, no matter what .
    but hes a good old boy, and has been in it for years, so no one complains about him...

    as for reimbursement of the trip , thats your loss, however, if you save reciepts, you might be able to claim it on your taxes, if you end up moving to that area , before the end of the year ( consult a tax advisor)

    any how, just some thoughts
     
  16. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

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    "NOPE It was a ALTAR Complete with Pentagram, Circle and some strange characters drew around them It looked like blood stains on the altar."

    Heck, that's nothing that a good priest and some holy water can't remedy.

    Seriously, RUN!!!

    Michael
     
  17. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    After looking at the property photo again I guess I'm having mixed thoughts. It does look nice in the photo. No defects showing. Construction doesn't get much simplier than that since it it just two connected boxes with roofs. Exterior appears to be wood either painted or stained. I'm guessing at least 2,000 square feet of floor space. Depending on support walls, it may be possible to knock out a couple of walls and double the size of a couple of the bedrooms.

    Someone's definition of 'ready to move into' may be 100% different than the next person. From what was described, it was ready to move into as it had electric, water and sewage disposal already there. Doesn't sound like any of the defects found weren't fixable at the good handyman-level. Since roof structure appears to be in good condition, a second layer of shingles might have been placed over the initial ones (or a steel roof put on). If the deck foundation was solid, it may have been just a matter of replacing the wood with manufactured wood decking.

    Gets somewhat into the area of when does an exaggeration become a lie? For example you are told, "This was built by someone in the home construction business." OK, does that mean it was a contractor/builder or an employee thereof? If you are told, "The original family house comes with the property", then it would have not been incorrect. If it was specifically said it was inhabitable or suitable for secure storage than it may become questionable. If the realtor you contacted was the listing agent then they should have known about the altar area. If another agent, than maybe or maybe not. As mentioned above, while it was a liability to you, it may have been an asset to someone else.

    Reminds me of trying to get an unattractive roommate a blind date.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  18. JulieNC

    JulieNC Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there are some good realtors. We started looking for a house in NC while we were still in St. Louis, and we were referred to a realtor here in NC. He was wonderful. I regularly received packages from him while in St. Louis--MLS listings on everything in the areas we were looking in (which was pretty large, since we were looking within 1/2 hour of RTP). Some houses that he was personally familiar with had notes on them like "This house needs major work to the roof" or "You'll need to paint this one inside and out," or "This one isn't too far from a major road, which I think might be a problem for you." If I found a house that was interesting, he'd get more information for me.

    When I arrived for a househunting trip prior to our move, he had narrowed down the field for me, and spent a whole day driving with me from place to place. I still wasn't finding exactly what I wanted, so we wound up staying in an apartment for awhile when we finally moved to NC. After a couple of months in the apartment, I was desparate and wanted to make an offer on a house we found near where we ultimately wound up. The realtor talked me out of it, convincing me it wasn't really what I wanted. (Understand this house was a little more expensive than the house we ultimately wound up buying.) He pointed out all sorts of things I was deliberately turning a blind eye towards. (I REALLY wanted out of that apartment!)

    I continued to look (with his help and direction) and found this house. He came out (a 45 minute drive for him), and pronounced it a good fit. He arranged for the inspection of the house and water, and helped us drive a good bargain. ("No, you don't need to offer full price--offer 10% less and let's see what happens.")

    That realtor was wonderful (Jim Jones with Fonville-Morrisey in Cary). I really felt that he was truly looking out for our best interests, and he wouldn't let me "settle," even though it would have been a very nice commission in his pocket. He went the extra mile every single time, and he put our needs first. What a gem!

    I think our househunting lasted 6 months from start to finish, and he never once got impatient with us. He always returned our calls, and his knowledge about the area was great. When he didn't have an answer to a question, he didn't pretend he knew--he'd tell us he'd have to check on it and get back to us. You know what? He always did.

    So, yes, there are some good realtors out there. In fact, there are some amazingly good realtors out there. It stinks that you got a bad one this time around. Look for a good buyer's agent. A good agent makes all the difference.
     
  19. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    Ken, am sorry you had to go through that.
    Could also tell you of all the things we had to go through before we found this house... it was unreal. :no:

    What the problem is now a days, is most realtors, never go see the house they are selling... they have no idea what it looks like, what the condition it is in. They just want to walk out there, and have someone hand them the money, instead of doing the work they should. Lazy to say the least.

    I would report the Realtor to the Better business bureau. That way if folks check with them to help them find a realtor, they will find out that it is best not to deal with the Folk(S) that you did.

    Because we will be moving from here in the next month or so,, I will have to find an honest Realtor,, and I am not looking forward to it.
    Luckly my Dad has done Real Estate for going on 45 year.. he is the most honest up front man a person could deal with. He does not beat around the bush, he gets to the point,, both good and bad, and he knows every square inch of the land he is selling.
    He will be sending me a list of stuff/questions to ask the possible Realtor, before I allow them to sell my house. And it they do not answer correctly,, will move onto the next one.

    Good luck!
     
  20. Karen

    Karen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ken, I'm so sorry. I know how exasperating, dissapointing and expensive your home search has been for so many months now. You and your family continue in my family's thoughts and prayers. If nothing else, it sure has been a learning experience!

    I don't think your expetations are too high and, although a realtor isn't going to tell you the house is junk, you still have the right to expect at least a realistic evaluation of the property your traveling a great distance, and at great expense, to see. Although the realtor works for the homeowner, it is just common courtesy and ethical values to be more realistic when you made it clear what was and was not acceptable. On the plus side, at least you got to visit that area to determine whether that area of the country is for you.

    Best wishes for your continued search!