How I negotiated $4,000 for My Buyer...Thank You Mr. Listing Agent!!!

Mortgage and Lending with Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage

OK....on this deal I was the attorney.  I wasn to the lender, but in any event....the problem was the well and septic.  I represented the buyer and we were going through the process, but still waiting for the well and septic report.  It lagged much later than I would have liked and the seller's attorney couldn't get the report either.

The ISSUE????  When the Listing Agent Commits Fraud!!!!

My client called every well and septic service in the county.  She then called me and asked me if I had received the report.  I said that I had.  She asked me my thoughts on it.  I said it looked perfect.  She said....REALLY?  I said yes.  She said what about the comments by the inspector.  I said "what comments?"  She said let me fax to you what I have. 

I got the report and it was the same as mine, but mine had no issues and no commSometimes you just gotta flex a little muscleents. Hmmm 

I called the seller's attorney and faxed him both reports.  The report that my client received directly from the Well and Septic company stated that it was a mess and the cost to repair would be $4,000.  The other attorney said "I didn't do it."  I knew that he hadn't b/c he was a reputable attorney.  I told him to talk to the listing agent and let him know that I'm forwarding a complaint to the State's Attorney's office and the Board of Realtors.  The listing agent  called my office in about 3 seconds and said that he didn't do alter the doc or white out the negative results or comments.  I said..."I never said that you did, but I'll let the authorities and the board of realtors deal with the issue regarding fraud.

He immediately said that even though he didn't do it, he'd be willing to pay $4,000 to my client just because of the hassle.  REALLY????  That easy?  It was worth your license? 

Let's just say that he paid the $4,000 and gave up his broker license.  Go figure.

We made it to closing and neither the buyer nor the seller had to pay a dime.  The seller likes me just as much as the buyer did!!!!

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Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Wow, haven't run into anything so blatant!  Obnoxious and doesn't give us a good name.  Glad they have decided this is not the business for them. 

All the best, Michelle

May 25, 2012 01:36 AM #25
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

That's why I never do anything I know is wrong.  I know I would get caught, just like that guy did.  Good for your client for double-checking.

May 25, 2012 02:39 AM #26
Tim Bradley
Contour Investment Properties - Jackson Hole, WY
Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY

That seems unbelievably bone-headed. It was awfully nice of the agent to cough up $4,000 even though he had no part in the "misunderstanding". LOL.

May 25, 2012 03:36 AM #27
Terry McCarley
REMAX Realty Team - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

Agents like that ruin the reputation of all agents.  It's amazing what some people will do to try to hold a deal together.  I guess that agent learned an expensive lesson!

May 25, 2012 04:19 AM #28
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


Why or why would the broker do that.  So stupid, because it seems very likely that he would get caught.

May 25, 2012 04:31 AM #29
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions


May 25, 2012 05:24 AM #30
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

I ran into this years ago, but none of the agents were involved. The purchaser's bank required a septic pumping and inspection and the sellers called in a local company to do the job.

Instead of giving a written report, the septic man gave the sellers the bill for pumping and told them that the system was failing and needed to be replaced.

After he left they wrote a note on the receipt saying that the system was in fine shape. And that's what got turned in to the buyer's lender.

I didn't learn about it until a year or so later when I saw notice of the lawsuit in the newspaper. The buyers were awarded triple damages. I guess the sellers didn't stop to think that the septic pumper would have kept a copy of that receipt - and it would be proof that it wasn't him who misled the buyers.

It's good when cheaters get caught and have to pay the price.

May 25, 2012 05:33 AM #31
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Larry -- that was probably the easiest $4,000.00 you ever made for your client.  How long was the agent without his license?

Have a fantastic holiday weekend! -- Enjoy with the kids!

May 25, 2012 05:36 AM #32
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Larry,

You can make perfectly good money staying completely legal. Do not understand, why people do this. Good story!

May 25, 2012 06:50 AM #33
Shaun Reilly
Reilly Real Estate - Newton, MA

I am most impressed with the client.  Very proactive calling all the comapnies to fiugre out who did it and get the report since the agent was dragging his feet on it.


I know I would not have done that!!!!

May 25, 2012 01:01 PM #34
Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent
BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684 - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

Good for your client for taking the time to call and start unravelling the story. I cannot imagine someone willing to risk his/her license over a septic tank!

May 26, 2012 01:43 AM #35
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Larry, good for you to keep everyone honest - well almost everyone!

May 26, 2012 01:56 AM #36
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Doing something like that is so stupid.  Just tell the truth.  If you think the estimates are high or something is wrong with the report say so - but don't hide it.

May 26, 2012 02:25 PM #37
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

Great, now I have to go through a bunch of recently closed transactions and then try to figure out who canceled his license. Wouldn't it be easier just to give us the name? :-)

May 26, 2012 02:43 PM #38
Bianca Marijan
City Brokerage, Hamilton - Hamilton, ON
Broker Owner of Independent Real Estate Brokerage

it amazes me that people would pull stunts like this.

there were many ways to solve that problem, upfront, and he chose the worse.

there is always another deal around the corner.

May 27, 2012 01:14 AM #39
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

FRAUD is such an ugly word. Committing FRAUD is such an evil thing to do. I am delighted that the apparent culprit was caught in the act and paid a financial and professional price for his foolishness.

May 29, 2012 02:14 PM #40
Jairo Arreola
Lotus Group Realty - San Jose, CA
VA Home Loan Specialist - SF Bay Area - South Bay

Wow! He lost everything for 4K!! I can't believe it- All the work (or lack of) went down the drain. The good thing is that your clients got their home and got the money for the repairs.

Jun 15, 2012 09:48 AM #41
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

Wow, I just cannot believe what people will do to get a deal closed.  That's ridiculous.  We've had mold issues and other things come up costing in the $10's of thousands of dollars and of course you disclose it and in some cases the buyers will still stick around.  But it's certainly amazing that anybody would hide this sort of a thing.  Awful. -Kasey

Oct 07, 2012 03:50 PM #42
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Caught red handed! I wonder what he was thinking. It's called "paper trail".

Nov 01, 2012 03:46 PM #43
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

Wow!  I dont know why this stuff is shocking to me, since morals seem to have all but evaporated in our country, but it's still amazing that people would do this kind of stuff.  I just don't get it...

May 07, 2013 03:39 AM #44
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