Home Buying in New Jersey>Question Details

Pumkin, Home Buyer in New Jersey

century 21 agency never signed a contract agent advise me to give 1000 up to go towards house for when i find can i get money back not happy

Asked by Pumkin, New Jersey Sun Sep 25, 2011

gave me first agent he was new unexperienced, now have 2nd agent have not seen or herd from him in 6 days i been working with company for 3weeks seen 2 houses that was not my choice i need a good agent but not from this company they are unorganised can i get my money back never signed contracy with anyone i was told if i gave the 1000 it would go towards a house when i found one

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What???? you gave money to an agency wit no home involved, demand your money back, then go to the local association of realtors and make a formal complaint. If the company does not give you back you money then ask for the association to mediate in this conflict. You have been taken by a crooked realtor it seems. You need to see and read copies of everything they gave you, if you signed anything you need to read those papers and make sure you dd not sign that money away. Take full legal action against these people!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 26, 2011
The money that you gave to C-21 is being used as escrow. I know that some agents ask for monies at signing and offer but escrow before even seeing houses is not usual. Ask the broker to return your funds - as a real estate office they need to follow strict procedures for their escrow accounts. Good-luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 26, 2011
Dear Pumkin, Century 21 office are individually owned and operated and do not operate the same. I am a Century 21 agent and my office is in Pompton Plains, NJ, we are extremely efficient and will be happy to help you with your home buying process. I am not certain why this agency would have taken your $1,000 up front, it is a not a practice for most agencies. I would recommend placing a call and speaking directly to the Broker of Record who should be able to clear up for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 26, 2011

All the answers below are right in line. The only addition I have is that maybe the agency was charging a "retainer fee". However, I do not know how they would charge this without a signed agency agreement.

Again, hoping you paid by check. Worst case scenario you could try to stop payment. The first step should be to contact the Broker/Owner of the Century 21 office. If you do not get what you need there, you could try to contact the Headquarters of Century 21 or another office broker to see what they recommend. I believe Century 21 is a franchise, so there should be some ladder to go up.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 25, 2011
I am not sure where the $1000 comes into play. Normal business practice is not to accept any money up front as a deposit prior to viewing properties. Did you enter into a good faith deposit on a particular property? That was it seems like to me. If the deal does not go through and you did not enter into a buyer's agreement with the firm, then you can freely go to any agency that you desire. If you did sign off on a buyer's agreement, then ask the firm for a release due to non-compliance and/or dissatisfication with the agency's performance. Make sure you get a written release. If you did enter into a good faith deposit on a particular property and you decide to change agencies, then the Century 21 agent will most likely be entitled to his commission if he is considered to be the procuring cause. I hope this helps. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 25, 2011
It almost sounds like a buyer agency agreement with a credit to be given back. I can't say for sure but if you say nothing was signed and you have a receipt then you should have little problem getting money back.
I've talked with you before here sorry to hear about your problems.
Get your money don't go thru agent demand to talk with broker and document all conversations. Then move on. Never give a deposit until you have an agreement of sale together and then you have an earnest money deposit for that sale. Not before.

As a buyer agent your interest should be first and foremost.

Larry Sarlo
RE/MAX preferred
Turnersville nj
Call text email 7 days

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 25, 2011
How was the money given, was it cash or check? Do you have a reciept? Call the company, speak with the broker. If the issue is not resolved, contract the Board of REALTORS in the county the real estate office is located and contact the NJ Real Estate Commission.

Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Atlantic Shore
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 25, 2011

I have NEVER heard of an agent/ agency asking for "deposit" money upfront before you even find a home !! Typically the $1000 is only given when you write an offer, and it it NOT deposited in an escrow account until the contract is agreed to by the seller.

Contact the broker/manager of the office IMMEDIATELY, and demand your money back.

You don't mention where in NJ you are looking (your profile only says Buyer in NJ), so it's hard to refer you to someone who can help you properly.
You can email me at PruMaryNJ@aol.com or call me to let me know where you are looking and I can try to refer you to someone who can work with you.

Look forward to hearing from you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 25, 2011
Not sure why any money was paid/required upfront; at this point contact the broker owner, and or office manager, express your concerns, ask for the money back, especially since if signed agreements exist . If all else fails, consider reporting the agent to the local realty board and or State Licensing Division.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 25, 2011
Sorry to hear about your current experience and thank you for reaching out to the Truilla family for clarification.
This does sound very unusual and I strongly suggest that you reach out to the Broker/Manager and request information as to why you paid $1000 before you found a home. I am hoping that you paid by check and the check was payable to the brokerage?

I'm not sure where you are looking to purchase a home, I service the Monmouth/Middlesex/Ocean counties area's. If you are not looking in these area's I can certainly refer you to an experienced Weichert agent in another county.

Good communication between yourself and your buying agent is important. Have you been pre-qualified for a loan? This is one of the first questions an agent should be asking of you among many others including your needs/wants/time frame for moving.

I can be reached directly at 732-492-6847 or via rquigley@weichert.com. Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 25, 2011
I've never heard of an agent or a company taking money up front BEFORE you buy a house. Typically, you pay earnest money when you find a house and make an offer. This money should be held by the title company, or the listing brokerage. You need to speak to the managing broker of this office and demand your money back. However, if you don't have anything in writing, then I'm not sure how you can prove that you gave them $1,000?!

Hopefully you'll get some responses from agents on here willing to help you. If not, I can try to refer you to someone.

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://www.sallygrenier.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 25, 2011
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