Home Buying in Chicago>Question Details

Phaboo,  in Orlando, FL

Our agent changed our sales contract after signing without notifying us and forged signature on an addendum.

Asked by Phaboo, Orlando, FL Mon Oct 14, 2013

Our buyer wanted 10 days after closing to move out. We refused as our house would already be sold. Our realtor told us everything had been worked out yet kept delaying sending a copy of the signed contract.

Things got busy selling one house and buying another. After closing we were informed that the seller would be moving out in ten days despite our wishes. No one would speak with us--everyone accused us of being ridiculous and left.

Later we discovered that our closing documents were missing a contract. We got a copy from the title company
(this was the first time we had it) and found that the realtor had added a clause giving the owner 10 dad to move out. The change was initialed only by the sellers and was done after we had signed.

An addendum restating the 10 day move out period was added. The signatures there are CLEARLY forged and look nothing like ours.

The seller is refusing to leave and called the sherrif who removed us from the property. The agents and broker will not return out phone calls. We have everything we own in rented trucks and have nowhere to live.

Please share some advice!

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Answers

28
First, wow and sorry this happened.

Secondly, I don't think there is anything you can do immediately. Wait out the 10 days (you have no choice unfortunately) then sue the heck out of all parties involved, especially the forger, that is a very serious accusation.

Keep diligent records and copies of everything. Hire an attorney to memorialize everything (send letters to all parties). You may be able to sue for actual damages and punitive, plus the mental anguish (apparently I watch too much TV..LOL!!).

Too bad you did not have an attorney at closing, this may have been avoided, but hind sight is 20/20....

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 25, 2013
Again, this is in Orlando as I filled things out incorrectly when I started this thread.

We've filed a complaint with the Florida Real Estate Commission. Maybe that'll do something.

Things got even weirder. After consulting with more than one attorney it looked like, unfortunately, the fastest way into the house was to wait and hope that the seller would move out on his own. The fact that the "agreement" was forged does us no good unless we take it to court and that would take too long.

Last Thursday we called the broker's office and was told that the seller was out of the house, the realtor was getting the keys and that the realtor was doing a walkthrough on Friday and would "release" the house to use maybe Monday.

This was the last straw. "Release" our house to us? We checked with our attorney and he said if the buyer was out of the house (no bed, no clothes, etc) then the buyer had vacated. Our attorney couldn't figure out why the Realtor was holding the keys until Monday.

So, around midnight we snuck onto our own property. We found the house UNLOCKED(!) and everything had been removed from the house. We called a 24 hour locksmith and changed the locks.

The seller's realtor called the next day demanding to know why we'd changed the locks when the house wasn't "released" yet. The seller had tried to get in and couldn't. Told her it was our house (duh!), there was nothing in the house for the seller to retrieve (why was the seller trying to get in, anyway?) and we were moving in.

So, we're finally in. All told we were homeless for a week and ran up $1500 in expenses for truck rentals and hotels. This is the most screwed up thing I've ever been involved in and I have the suspicion that I got off easy--this could have been much worse.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013
Thank you for the update. I was wondering what happened in this case. Was anything removed that was supposed to day, like light fixtures, appliances, cabinet hardware? I am sorry you are going through this.
Flag Mon Oct 21, 2013
Call IDFPR right away to file a complaint. You can go to their web site and submit one online too. Very important to do!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013
Go after this agent full on throttle these are the people we want out of the business that give us a bad name. I used to be on the Ethics committee and take this very serious. Also go after the company the agent works for it is probably not the first time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013
I totally agree with your response, Daniel. This year in particular I've read and heard of similar situations regardless of area. About three years ago with the housing market crash thousands of agents left the industry and it seemed as though these type situations went with it. The agents that survived were those who've been in the industry for years. My hope is more folks like yourself who had authority or have authority will speak out and extend an opinion in an effort to assist the general public in deciphering information regarding buying and selling real estate. I am appreciative of your efforts and thank you.
Flag Mon Oct 21, 2013
Call Attorney Jim Schultz 773 680 7426
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 15, 2013
Hello Phaboo:

I am sorry you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

In this case you need a good real estate lawyer, and if you find one with a criminal background, or with a firm that has a good criminal lawyer. The forgery of your name is a crime in every state in the nation. The fact that the sellers refuse to move out may entitle you to compensation. I am not a lawyer so I will not attempt any legal advice in the matter. I can only suggest that you follow thru with a good lawyer.

Good luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 15, 2013
This is a very unfortunate situation; however it is another example of what can happen when folks make up the rules as they go along and short cut or avoid, simply, doing their job. It's far easier to do what's right than to do otherwise. If what you've written is correct as to what happened, I'm glad you posted it here on Truilia where others can, hopefully, learn from what you've been through.

Selling and purchasing real estate are serious transactions involving legal contracts and addendums. There are far too many folks who take matters in to their own hands and/or avoid the warnings of contractual law. Over the years I've seen many posts on Trulia where the majority of these type situations could have been easily avoided.

As a suggestion to agents, sellers and buyers, never ever close a deal unless you have all your fully executed contracts together and in a folder. Any added information or written information to any single document has got to be initialed and dated by all parties to the deal...agents, sellers and buyers. I've worked with real estate and legal documents my entire working career and doing this has never changed. Thanks and I wish you all the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 15, 2013
If these are the real circumstances as you describe them, then there are some serious mistakes on so many levels.... and a very important lesson learned on your part
The agent by the way will have problems with his Managing Broker, with the local Board in so many
ways..

For you you have learned to insist that all papers are delivered ASAP, and you do hire an attorney as
soon as you have a signed contract with another party whether you are the buyer or the seller. The
attorney can make changes, to the contract, and should carefully review it on your behalf, the only
item the attorney will not be able to change if necessary will the negotiated sale price....

In general there are those arrangements IN WRITING AGREED BY BOTH PARTIES AND SIGNED BY BOTH PARTIES where basically the Seller rents back from the Buyer after the closing the property
for a short period of time for ease of move in and move out, but there are regulations and terms for those as in that case the Seller who has sold the property, during that period of time he is still at
the property he now does not own anymore is responsible for any potential damages ocurring
during his move out and time at the property, so there needs to be another walk thru, to make sure
all is ok, or damages need to be fixed or paid for, and the seller would have to pay a daily rental fee
to the Buyer/now owner for that courtesy time..... and there should always be a clause, with a penalty amount if the Seller is not out on the date and time agreed upon.

When I arrange a situation like that that of course both sides agree in writing for various good reasons
The attorney of the Buyer will hold a security deposit from the Sellers at the closing to make sure
that the daily rent and any damages will definitely be paid and only if there is no damage some of that
money less the rent will then be returned to the Sellers after move out.

Next deal make sure you do have an attorney.

Not sure how you want to or can in Florida proceed for damages..... There are many different steps from hiring a real estate attorney, to contacting the local board of Realtors with your complaint,
contacting your Realtor's Office Managing Broker......

Sorry it happened, it definitely should have never happened and forged signatures, and not presenting both parties ASAP, it means the very same day they are signed by both parties, with the
fully executed contract is all against the law....

Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life & Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert

Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients, Buyers, Sellers and Investors alike....
And always with a SMILE 
Covering for @Properties the city of Chicago, all N and NW suburbs, the fine homes on the
North Shore, and many of the W and SW suburbs, and with her trusted Partner Agents all of
the US and worldwide properties. Edith speaks French, German, some Spanish and other.....
@Properties ---- EdithSellsHomes@gmail.com
Check out my website at htttp://tinyurl.com/YourRealtor4Life
HAVE THE MOST WONDERFUL DAY :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 15, 2013
Dear Phaboo,

This was a failure on so many parties part.

Firstly, your real estate attorney should have had all those documents prior to closing and should have reviewed each and every one of them with you.

As Evelyn said, unfortunately , in the immediate you have no recourse as the previous owners still maintain possession even if though they are no longer the owners. Since you current attorney in my opinion dropped the ball, hire someone else. But before you do talk to at least two attorneys and explain your situation and go with the attorney you feel most comfortable with.

You should file a complaint with the IDFPR against the Broker that forged your signatures. This is a serious breech of ethics as well as it is against the law. Financial transactions are highly regulated and licensed professionals are held to a higher standard.

I am very sorry this happened to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
Re: Ivan, it happened in Orlando. I think I filled out the site form improperly. I'll try to fix it.

No attorney at the closing. We were stupid and trusted our agent. We never even imagined that she would do this but the proof is right there in the sales contract and the addendums.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
Wow, those are some serious allegations. Did this happen in Illinois? Was your attorney at the closing?

Best regards,

Ivan Sagel
312.515.7823
ivan@atproperties.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
that is a crazy story perfect for court room TV
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
Call both the managing brokers from the transaction and your lawyer from the closing. Have the mover store your things and stay in a hotel save all the receipts and your lawyer should demand costs plus damages. The addendum is voidable since you did not sign it and the sellers may also owe you money. In the contract there may be a line for a daily fee for seller holding over past the closing date. Have the lawyer draft the demand letter for that fee and get all other monies from you agent's firm.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
First you need to contact an attorney to try to figure out this situation and let them handle things. In the menatime, you may need to just find a long term stay hotel or stay with friends and leave your things in the van or storage. These things are inconvenient and do cost money, but this will not be resolved likley in 10 days. And the remedy may not be with the seller but with the agent and agency and some payment to take care of your needs and unanticipated costs.

Agreement to terms without client permission and certaining forging documents are a huge concern, not of least to say is fraudulent. Get to an attorney right now and start this. Time before acting can sometimes work against you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
Talk with an attorney in the state of the closing , good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
Get an attorney on this and try to find a place to live for the next 7-10 days.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
Did you talk with a NY atty or Florida? Needs to be an attorney in the state of the property. If he's still in business, Fred Wilson and Jim Mitchell used to the be chief attornies for the Div of Real Estate.
For now, get a weekly rental if you haven't already. This will not likely be fixed in 10 days.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
Spoke with an attorney on the phone. He says there's nothing we can do but wait out the 10 days and then sue later.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
Are you talking about Orlando, FL? Talk to a good attorney, then file complaints with the Div of Real Estate, the Orlando Association of Realtors then the Div of Insurance (for the title co)
We need to get licensees like this one OUT of the business.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
I would get an attorney involved first!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
I must have filled the site's form out wrong. We're in Orlando, not NY.

By the time the seller accepted our offer (with additional stipulations we were not informed of) our old house was under contract and time was running out. When our agent called and said the seller accepted the offer and we were under contract I asked for the contract. Got responses of, "Don't worry, it's all fine." Kept pressing right up until closing and got things like, "I emailed it last week, didn't you get it?"

This is all while sorting out VA inspection and things with the old house and a thousand other things to do. It didn't sound right but we trusted our agent as we were already overwhelmed.

Trying to contact an attorney now but it's Columbus Day.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
I would speak to an attorney that is NOT that attorney that did the closing. Immediately. You will probably need to sue. Sorry this is such a mess. It sounds like what your realtor did is at least unethical and maybe illegal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
You are telling me that nobody had a copy of the contract at closing!!!? Does Your attorney know about this? Was this your attorney or somebody your agent recommended? contact your attorney asap and take immediate massive action. keep track of your expenses as the agent/firm you used will be paying for your hotel, storage, living expenses etc.
http://www.idfpr.com/Admin/Complaints.asp your agent will lose their license after you sue them providing you can prove the allegations. Contact the managing broker as well and have your attorney do so immediately. Tell them the situation NOW.
The seller has nothing to do with it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
I am sorry you are in this situations. Contact a lawyer first. If you used an attorney for the transaction then start there.
Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
obviously you need to speak with your attorney who handled the transaction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can also contact the Managing Broker for the R E firm where the agent works and complain and you can file an Ethics Complaint with the State of Illinois!!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
obviously you need to speak with your attorney who handled the transaction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can also contact the Managing Broker for the R E firm where the agent works and complain and you can file an Ethics Complaint with the State of Illinois!!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
Contact a lawyer immediately and call the Illinois State Real Estate Commission and file a formal complaint against the Realtor, the Company they work for and the Title Company that did the closing. Here's the link to their website: http://www.idfpr.com/dpr/re/realest.asp

This is a very serious and if you honestly believe that forgery was committed then you should pursue the matter vigorously. You do need to understand that the Seller doesn't seem to be responsible and you're not going to likely get them out of the house in the next day or two so you're going to have to make plans to rents somewhere. Keep track of all your expenses hotel, storage fees, eating out, etc You're going to want to get reimbursed by the agent and their company when you sue them.

Really sorry to hear about this experience, trust me it's not the norm.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
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