realtor called us to do landscaping -we did the work-he signed contract & now he says client owes who owes ?

Asked by Sandra, Charlotte, NC Tue Jan 6, 2009

Need to know Considering taking him to small claims court however he claims he will counter sue - All the paperwork has the realitors name - who guaranteed us payment - his client backed out of selling the house I think the realitor planned on paying us out of closing costs.

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Terry McDona…, , Charlotte, NC
Wed Jan 7, 2009
It is a mess. I'm a Realtor and former contractor-Builder. The Realtor should not have had his name on it. Period. You should not have accepted a contract and performed work on a home where you didn't have an enforceable contract. Not Ever. Only home owners, or duly authorized agents (with paperwork to prove it) could contract and committ the Home Seller. I'd address your complaint to the Agent and his Broker in Charge, hopefully he works for a bigger firm. Before calling a lawyer...

Write a certified return receipt requested demand letter, with a demand date- a resolution must occur by___ or else
you will:
File A complaint to the real estate commission
An ethics complaint to his local association
And a court case

and then be prepared to compromise. You need to learn from this, because best I can tell you have zero lien rights, and a contract that will cost you money to try and enforce. Your position is not a strong one, but neither is the Agent's. I suspect there is a resolution long before court.

You will be amazed at what a certified letter can accomplish, and send his Broker in Charge one too...

Good luck and do speak to an attorney about contract law-- I'm guessing your contract doens't have a senetence that says, '"In the event of default,... to pay reasonable legal fees."? Without this language, small contracts are frequently unenforceable because of the high cost of litigation.
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Catherine Br…, , Charlotte, NC
Tue Jan 6, 2009
This isn't really a real estate agent question. This could happen to any person that did work on a property at the direction of anyone other than the owner. For example, what if a neighbor asked you to mow the next door neighbor's lawn. Your issue is with the person that 'hired' you.

If it is true the the agent ordered the work and signed the work order or contract, you need to focus your actions on that person. Is the amount owed low enough to be repaid by a suit in small claims court? That would be the least expensive route for you to explain and recover your claim.

Others here have suggested a lien against the property, That may be possible since your work is on that property. As you probably know, a lien must meet legal standards, and may be paid when a property is sold. You should contact the real estate commission in North Carolina about the agent that has not paid you, if what you say is true.
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Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Tue Jan 6, 2009
Contact attorney. However if realtor signed the contract it appears he may not have had authority to do so considering he does not have ownership to property unless he had Power of Attorney. You can also contact State file a formal compliant against agent. Recommend speaking with his broker. I would not wait considering possibly lien the property you were a contractor all liens have to be paid prior to closing even if that is 10 years from now. Property owner will not be happy knowing NOW has a lien.

Court records will require to show proof of demand of payment send certified return receipts for payment to property owner and realtor state if you are not paid within 15 days you will pursue lien on property.
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Kelly Cahill, Agent, Fort Mill, SC
Tue Jan 6, 2009
I would say you would need to contact an attorney. At first glance, if the realtor did sign the contract, then it would seem that he would no doubt owe you the money due for the work done. But there are other criteria I do not know, such as - did the realtor have power of attorney to sign for the seller of the home, was there a verbal agreement, was there an agreement in their listing agreement , and the laws may vary from state to state. Good Luck
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Henry G. Out…, , 28804
Tue Jan 6, 2009
I suggest legal counsel from an attorney. I don't believe anyone else is qualified to give you anything more than an opinion. Best wishes on a quick and fair outcome.

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Eric Polansky…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Tue Jan 6, 2009
you can put a lien on the house until it sells then you can be paid. The Realtor was just as fault for putting his name on something he did not own unless he had permission and in that case the seller is liable
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