Taken advantage of and it was my own fault.

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Jeff Thornton ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI

I guess I am more gullible than I thought.

 

Over the winter I had an evergreen tree come down at a rental house I owned.  I hadn't had it taken care of yet when I received a call from a local who was short money and was willing to work cheap.  I hired him to take care of the tree for what was a very reasonable fee.  Two weeks later more storms in Michigan and another tree down at the same property.  This time it was much larger.  I called the same guy up and hired him to take care of this tree.  He was short money and asked for $75 up front, so my wife, with her big heart, wrote him a check for $100.  A week later and a couple of reasonable weather related excuses later the tree wasn't taken care of.  Instead he needed another $60 as his assistant with the chain saw couldn't or wouldn't help him finish.  2 days later I received another call and another excuse.  He wasn't able to get a large enough chain saw and didn't have a place to take the leftover brush.  I'm beginning to get a little annoyed but I needed the tree taken care of and I wanted to help this guy make some money.  We discussed some ideas and he decided he would try one.  The next day comes and I receive a message that he can't do the job and he didn't have my money.  I needed to wait 5 days until he had some money coming in.  I let it go and waited for my money.  Today I get a call form a new tenant who took on the tree and finished the job in one day as he said he would.  It reminded me that the other guy hadn't brought my $160 back on Thursday as he promised.  When I called all I got was an answering machine.  So I drove over to his home.  He was on vacation, probably visiting Duane Marlink in beautiful Saugutuck, and he has a brand new grill in his back yard.

 

II stayed home this weekend to work on my home, something I seem to only have time to do on a holiday, and he is enjoying himself.  I thought that it was just my kids that new how to manipulate me.

 

Jeff Thornton
Associate-Broker
Coldwell Banker Hubbell BriarWood
Jeff@JeffThornton.com
517-719-4430

  

Comments (16)

Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

Jeff,

I would be definitely calling on him and stopping by a little more often to get my money

Jul 05, 2008 01:22 PM
Jeff Thornton
Jeff Thornton ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI - Lansing, MI
ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI

Russ Thanks.  Its not over, he'll get very tired of seeing me if he doesn't come up with the money soon

Jul 05, 2008 01:29 PM
Mott Marvin Kornicki
Waterway Realtors® • Notary Public & Apostille - Sunny Isles, FL
Miami Notary & Apostille 786-229-7999

I had a similar situation with an electrician! He needed upfront money to buy the materials and pay his room rent... He started the job..., found my last beer in the fridge... HE WAS GONE!

It was my fault for being to vulnerable and compassionate

Jul 05, 2008 01:31 PM
Erik Hitzelberger
RE/MAX Alliance - Louisville REALTOR-Luxury Homes - Louisville, KY
Louisville - Middletown Real Estate

Jeff - Ultimately, this comes down to the fact that you and your wife seem to be compassionate and trusting people.  I certainly hope that you won't let $160 change that.

Jul 05, 2008 02:23 PM
Shirley Parks
Sands Realty 210-414-0966 - San Antonio, TX
Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate

When we lived in our previous house, my husband hired a relative of an acquaintance to do some electrical work on our house.  My husband paid him the full amount before the work was finished and guess what?  He never returned to finish the job.  Never pay until the job is finished and approved.

Jul 05, 2008 02:24 PM
Jeff Thornton
Jeff Thornton ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI - Lansing, MI
ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI

Mott

At least I didn't lose my last beer.  That would have really irritated me. 

Jul 05, 2008 02:39 PM
Jeff Thornton
Jeff Thornton ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI - Lansing, MI
ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI

Eric,

My wife is at least.  $160 isn't the end of the world it's the principle of the thing. 

Jul 05, 2008 02:41 PM
Jeff Thornton
Jeff Thornton ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI - Lansing, MI
ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI

Shirley

I will probably do it again despite knowing better

Jul 05, 2008 02:42 PM
* Rate A Home
Rate A Home - Saugatuck, MI

Jeff, LOL, I think he is over here, we had a ton of trees go down with the last storm as well. I'll send him back your way soon that naughty guy. Don't ya love it when peoples words are worthless.

Duane

Jul 13, 2008 12:16 AM
Jeff Thornton
Jeff Thornton ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI - Lansing, MI
ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI

Duane he has decided to give me back some of the money.  He I going to keep a hundred for gas (round trip 25 miles) and 2 hours of work (my 16 year old could have accomplished more in 30 minutes)  I get $60 though I haven't seen it yet

Jul 13, 2008 05:46 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jeff,

I pay my vendors immediately when the job is done! Many times the sellers reimburse me. Never make a contractor wait for money. This is my best advice for getting things done.

 

Jul 14, 2008 02:37 AM
Jeff Thornton
Jeff Thornton ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI - Lansing, MI
ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI

Margaret I agree but this guy called me up flat broke looking for money and didn't have enough to get started.  I knew better but I thought it would work out.

Jul 14, 2008 05:40 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Jeff, We have all been burned. I remember when some one came,needing money, and  offered to clean our gutters. We paid ... never heard from him again. Good way to learn a lesson.

Jul 14, 2008 07:00 AM
Jeff Thornton
Jeff Thornton ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI - Lansing, MI
ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI

You try to help people and they take advantage of you which just hurts the good ones down the road

Jul 15, 2008 02:48 AM
Carol Lee
Dilbeck Real Estate - Oak Park, CA
Realtor - Agoura, Oak Park, Westlake CA Homes

Think of it as good karma put in the world, just somewhat expensive karma!  And we, as realtors, should know better than to pay for work upfront!!

Jul 17, 2008 02:53 PM
Jeff Thornton
Jeff Thornton ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI - Lansing, MI
ABR CRB CRS CSP e-Pro GRI

Carol thanks.  we've all known not to pay up front but sometimes you still are a sucker

Jul 18, 2008 02:20 PM