Angela, Home Buyer in 21234

I am the property virgin who asked my first question back in November 2007 when I reported to all of you that

Asked by Angela, 21234 Mon May 19, 2008

my realtor acted as my general contractor. There was no written contract and my realtor hired his unlicensed (I later found ourt) personal contractor to rehab an investment property I purchased in Baltimore last August. I paid ALL rehab costs by check. ALL checks were made payable to my realtor. The rennovations went well over budget and I am out of 55k. The house is uninhabitable. I want to thank all of the Trulia members who came to my rescue and offered me wonderful advice. I issued a 1099 to my realtor. I filed claims with the Maryland Home Improvement Commission and the Real Estate Commission in December. To date, I have been assigned an inspector with the Home Improvement Commission, and she claims that I do not have a case because the property was purchased for investment purposes. I am anxiously waiting to be contacted by a Real Estate Commission inspector. How can I expedite this process? How can I convince the Home Improvement Commission that my case has merit?

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I am sorry the system seems to have let you down. I have had a bad experience with the home improvement commission myself (actually my daughter). It seems they only police the ones who are licensed. Hmmm. Makes you wonder doesn't it. I do not know of anyway to expedite things but I feel that the real estate commission is probably where you will find the most help. Good Luck to you!
Kim Mills
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 20, 2008

Your case has merit, the issue is that the home improvement commission is there to protect the home owner and not the individual who purchase for investment which essentially places your transaction in the commercial realm.
The reason the home improvement commission does not regulate unlicensed contractors is that in the state of MD. you are not obligated to pay an unlicensed contractor regardless of any contract you may have entered into.
I suggest that the realtor has probably breach ethical boundaries which may well cost license and fines which will be determined by the real estate commission.

I am licensed as both an agent and a home improvement contractor but I keep a firewall between the transactions.

Your best bet is to consult with an attorney who is versed in construction law, they should be able to give you a heads up in relation to any laws that have been broken so that civil and criminal action can be taken.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 11, 2014
Your first mistake was hiring a Realtor as a GC. There are many General Contractors or even Construction consultants who would ensure the project came in on time and within budget. How much work is left on the investment property?
Mi-Liu Enterprise
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 23, 2014
If you have a valid listing agreement or buyers agreement, I can't tell which way the realtor was working for you, the fine print in the agreement no doubt states that the realtor or broker will be held harmless as to the suitability of the property for the intended purpose. If your "realtor" was working in another capacity without a buyers agreement or a listing agreement, I doubt that the real estate commission will even hear the case.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 8, 2008
You learned a lot. Expensive lessons. You probably like that show "flip that house" on HGTV, right?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 8, 2008
Wow, you have learned a lesson the hard way. Always have a contract in writing so that everyone involved understands how they are to proceed and what everyone's expectations are. Hire a good attorney. Unfortunately, the wheels of beaurocracy grind very slowly. Follow up with the Real Estate Commission on your claim. Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets noticed. Next time, ask for references and ask to talk or see previous projects.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 8, 2008
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