They Advertised a Solar Heated Pool

Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470

They Advertised a Solar Heated PoolThey Advertised a Solar Heated Pool


The past week in real estate, I have learned quite a bit about what I would call about the practice of misleading.  It really makes me sad that agents in our industry will go to any length at all to mislead. 


The first instance of misleading came from someone who used to be a managing broker of a branch of a well known national real estate company.  Now, she is off on her own and I understand why her reputation is sullied.  When presenting an offer on a listing of mine that clearly stated we could not accept a buyer that had a home they needed to sell, she put forth an offer with coinciding settlements.  Well, in our regional sales contract, that means that her buyer's property is under contract with all the contingencies removed.  However, the property was not listed.

Approaching the buyer broker about this, she stated, "It will go under contract with multiple offers that result in a contract with no contingencies.  I'm not worried about it."  That made one of us.  And as for multiple offers in Gainesville or Bristow resulting in contracts where buyers are willing to forego home inspection and appraisal...dream on.  It doesn't happen in the first time buyer price range.

To make matters worse, she told me that I was thinking about how to proceed on my seller's buy side incorrectly.  So what if the listing my client wanted to buy wouldn't accept a home sale contingency, and definitely not a coinciding settlements if we had  buyer who also had to sell to buy.  That's too many homes to sell to make the last deal go.  She suggested, "We'll just add it after your seller's purchase offer on the buy side gets accepted.  The listing agent doesn't need to know."  Thank you, but that's not how I do business.  Misleading a seller that my clients are in a position they are not is not a good business practice or ethical.  Next!


The second instance of misleading was the bone of a skeleton of a past deal.  I'm representing clients who had formerly purchased a listing of mine with another agent.  When we sat down to write a purchase offer and I requested an earnest money check, they asked if it was going to be cashed.  Of course, but only after the contract is ratified.  Imagine my horror when they said, "Well the agent we bought our current house with never cashed the EMD check.  He said it was only liquidated if there was a problem."  Don't even get me started.  Obviously, he wasn't a great agent because they chose not to work with him again. Proof of the deposit of the EMD is something I must now ask for on every deal.  It makes me sick that agents don't understand the laws of paracticing real estate in Virginia and can't read a contract and understand the terms.


Finally, the lightest weight misleading tidbit of all--the solar heated pool.  No, there weren't solar panels powering a heating mechanism that was professionally built, UA Laboratories approved and professionally installed.  Nope. There was a homespun rig of black corrugated plastic tubing, facing the southern sky on a DIY tilted wood table, powered by a pump, hooked up to the pool by a heavy duty extension cord that was less than a foot from the water.  I'm certainly not a home inspector, but I am confident in my statement, "That ain't right."   Shoot, a safer solar heated pool would be a pool that was simply warmed by the overhead sun, don't you think?




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Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Seriously, that solar heated pool screams "Manufactured by Cousin Billy's Garage Pool Systems, LLC" and we mean LLC. Ironically, mu cousin had a similar syatem, but it was from a pool installation company and was self pumping and approved. Actually worked well.  

Jun 30, 2019 05:29 AM #17
AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS
Keyes Co. - Davie, FL
Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL

The good  point here is you can do better and for long time. They will not last, trust me. The true will always prevail. Good job!

Jun 30, 2019 05:41 AM #18
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

People who deceive have first been deceived themselves....richfuscious

Jun 30, 2019 05:59 AM #19
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

I am sorry to hear you ran into all three of these agents in the same week!  Any one of these would be frustrating!  Most agents do a good job, unfortunately there are some who bend the rules and their clients think that is normal.

Jun 30, 2019 07:48 AM #20
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good afternoon Chris Ann Cleland ,

I'm still shaking my head in wonderment. Its such a shame we have agents like this representing clients. It's not a wonder real estate agents get a bad name! Three in one week is a little hard to take!

Jun 30, 2019 11:10 AM #21
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

I thought the solar heated pool was going to be one heated by the sun, definitely safer than what you encountered. The stories from the trenches what other agents say and do is always interesting, and very often amazing.

Jun 30, 2019 02:23 PM #22
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

You always have to tell the truth and specially with stuff like this. No two ways about it, heated pool or no.

Jun 30, 2019 08:34 PM #23
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

It is sad how many times i see, hear or read this. I always hope a buyer or seller will read these warning to choose better agents, but some always seem to hire them. I do wonder if that diy solar panel works though? As far as buyers and sellers, i feel it i important to share these stories so we can save others from a similar fate

Jul 01, 2019 04:50 AM #24
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Great post - and congratulations on your feature- we don't get paid at Keller Williams Capital Properties until we demonstrate that the title company or other agent's company has deposited the EMD - I had one last week that the other broker who verified after 6 weeks that the check had been deposited but they couldn't verify that the funds had cleared - obviously boilerplate! 

Jul 01, 2019 04:58 AM #25
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489

I was thinking the same as Myrl above, almost all pools are heated by solar. How it is done is another thing. Well, as for the other things, you know what they say. It takes one bad apple to ruin a whole bunch. Geez!

Jul 01, 2019 05:20 AM #26
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

Sounds like a case of stupidity on the listing agent's part. I used to laugh and tell my friends that my motorcycle has heat and air........  Duhhhh!

Jul 01, 2019 05:51 AM #27
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Chris Ann:

Yikes those are some stories, especially the first one.

Here the EMD is due to escrow within 3 business days of contract acceptance, and most of the time is wired. Anyone can hand over a check - the proof is when the funds have cleared.


Jul 01, 2019 06:02 PM #28
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Without consideration a contract is invalid. Brokers and agents should have their licenses revoked when the EMD is not sent immediately sent to escrow.

Jul 01, 2019 07:23 PM #29
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Well. Thanks for sharing three stories that could become nightmares.

People need to realize that Real Estate is not governed by what ever passes through the cells of your brain.

These are legal transactions that need to be addressed in the utmost professional manner.

Unfortunately, your stories could be included in a huge book of similar stories.

Jul 02, 2019 10:37 AM #30
Julie A. Black
KAUAI DREAMS REALTY Kauai Real Property Specialist - Kapaa, HI
CLHMS, CRS, GRI, Realtor, Broker

OMG That DIY is WTF.

Jul 02, 2019 06:57 PM #31
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

C'mon, Chris Ann.  The sun was indeed heating the water in the black tubes.  By definition that is solar heat.  It wasn't lunar, it wasn't the stars, it wasn't the clouds, it was the sun.  And incredibly inventive.  Utterly safe, too.

Solar heat.  Sun heat.  Wad da diff?

I did an inspection once on a townhouse where it's rear yard abutted a pathetically small capture pond for street water during heavy rains.  The listing advertised "water view."  Again, inventive.

Jul 04, 2019 03:29 AM #32
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Wow!  You've seen some doosies!  Not sure how to spell that, but you get the point.  Thankfully, our Arizona contracts include the Earnest Deposit as a requirement within 3 days of contract acceptance, and it's stiuplated that it is deposited with a title company.  As for the contingency, a bit of research is always my practice with any buyer. I have yet to run into an agent with the contingency brain you experienced, youza! 

As for the latter - that's a bit of greenwashing.  Greenwashing is overstating something that isn't really a fact.  Factually, that DIY pool heater might have been a good idea for the homeowner on the cheap, but not in a listing.  As you list, any home inspector would cringe seeing that cord!  Thanks for a good chuckle today!

Jul 06, 2019 11:40 AM #34
Robin Wells
RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections - Penetanguishene, ON
Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time

Thanks for post and wow.. I would think most professional realtors would be .. well more professional.  It is about honesty and integrity and what you state in a listing is part of that.

Jul 06, 2019 11:49 AM #35
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

That was quite the week Chris Ann.  I was thinking the same thing about the solar heated pool after I saw the photos.  Just let the sun beat down on the pool and heat the water, no chance of electrocuting the family that way. 

Aug 12, 2019 03:25 PM #36
Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent
BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684 - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

I love the Solar Heated Pool story. What else in the house did he "fix"?

Aug 30, 2019 07:32 AM #37
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Chris Ann Cleland

Associate Broker, Bristow, VA
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