This is sad and scary. People who are in trouble in the first place are looking for away to make themselves better. I hope that this does not happen to anyone else. How sad.
Over the weekend, one of my agents asked me to speak with a client. Apparently we had listed the client's home, but it was taken off the market because the client's niece was going to help her and she would be able to keep the house. This client was in a short sale situation, and my agent was going to help her in selling the house, but if the homeowner found a way to stay in the house, who are we to interfere? We want sellers to be able to stay in their house. A sale should happen if you want to move, not if you're forced to move which is a huge part of the real estate climate we're in now.
Months pass and my agent is contacted by the seller again. The story changed. Apparently, shortly after we listed the house two supposed attorneys showed up at the seller's door to help her keep the house. They had her sign paperwork and told her that they would work it out with the bank. They were going to buy the house from her and then sell it back. They also supposedly told the seller to make sure she didn't tell us because it would be unethical since they are trying to help her stay in the house and we "just wanted to sell the house." Now, the seller has found out that she has to move out of the house. Apparently, the new owner is evicting her and she wants us to help her.
I am getting really frustrated. There are a lot of people that love to blame the agent for what happened, but what about when the customer/client betray us. Then when they are in an even bigger whole, they come to us for help. The only thing I was able to recommend is for the seller to file a complaint with the NYS Bar Association and contact the FBI.
But, the seller?? What will she face?? After all, she was involved in the fraud too. She did sign the paperwork. At first, I felt bad. But then, I thought (after speaking to another attorney about the situation) why am I feeling bad? She obviously didn't consider us (more specifically the agent) when she made her decision. If she were truly making such a great decision at that point, why didn't she just be up front? At the end of the day, we want sellers to stay in their home if they could. And, we would have let her know that this was a scam. Now her bubble is burst and yet again, there is nothing that we can do. (But, we're the devil).
Another day in the life of real estate.
P.S. Selling activity is definitely up. Enjoy the selling season.
VP of Operations
ERA Top Service Realty, Inc.