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Asked by Jessica, Spring Branch Central, Houston, TX Wed Jan 28, 2009

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Answers

16
T.E. & Naima…, Agent, Dallas, TX
Wed Jan 28, 2009
BEST ANSWER
Jessica, DO NOT LET THESE PEOPLE INTO YOUR HOUSE WITHOUT A LEASE AGREEMENT!!!! Eviction laws in Texas are very strict. You have every right to be upset with this agent, he seems to be trying to intimidate and push you around. Also, 10K for closing costs and prepaids is a LOT of money. FHA will not allow more than 6% of the sales price in contributions from the seller. Have you talked to their lender? ask for their pre-approval letter and call the lender and ask questions.

Now about the repair: FHA appraisers are more strict than conventional ones and they can flag something in the house that has to be fixed. It must be repaired PRIOR to closing and you are NOT required to fix it. It is all negotiable. How much are we talking about? The option fee is not a big deal but the earnest money of $250 is very little. They don't have much at stake that is why they may not be too motivated. Can they move the closing up to this Friday?????

Ask the Realtor to put them up at this house until it closes if he feels that bad or he can pay for their hotel bill.

If you signed a listing agreement with no intermediary option, he is supposed to be representing you and only you. Who is giving advice to these poor people? This agent seems to be the greedy one.

Call his office and ask for the office manager. It seems that there is no broker. Many Re/Max offices have one broker for several branches but they all should have at least an office manager. Ask them to appoint another agent to represent you, although at this point, it may be tough to get the deal done for next week but at least ask the manager to oversea the transaction.

Keep us updated.

Naima
214-289-8555
Naima@Sumner-Reaty.com
Web Reference:  http://www.SumnerRealty.com
2 votes
Faye Taylor, , San Antonio, TX
Thu Jan 29, 2009
Listen to Naima. Her response is good.
DO NOT let them in the house without a lease agreement in writing. There is a TAR form for this.
Do you know what title company you are to close at? They would also have to have contact information with the agent's office.
2 votes
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Wed Jan 28, 2009
Jessica,
I would click on the link below and make sure that your Realtor is licensed.
I would also check to see who their broker is.

Without knowing all the facts I suggest that you follow your gut instinct. A couple of tips:
Many times brokers have legal names that bear no resemblance to the public name (DBA Doing Business As), so just because the name is different is not in and of itself a problem. The TREC check should tell you if they are the same company. Also, look at the broker's website.

Aside from these irregularities, if you have questions (I am assuming you are in the early stages of negotiation), then make a list of questions, and ask for a meeting with the broker and your Realtor IN YOUR HOUSE. Not at the office.

Have a witness.
Listen to their answers.

Good luck. Remember, the bible says to be prepared, be knowledgeable, and have a witness.
2 votes
Jessica, Home Seller, Spring Branch Central, Houston, TX
Sat Jan 31, 2009
**update**

my husband and i have spoken to the office manager and broker. the office manager is trying to resolve things, the realtors are not allowed to contact us and they are off of the listing. fingers crossed that he's a man of his word and follows through on the promises he's made us to rectify this situation. i'll post again when i know more!! thanks again to everyone that responded, i sincerely appreciate it.
1 vote
Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Thu Jan 29, 2009
Jessica
Given your geographic situation I would recommend a couple of steps:
First, it is possible that you will close. In most sales it is not uncommon for buyers to ask for repairs to be made, even if they can afford to have them done. it is part of the negotiation process.

Most homes need work because most homeowners do not invest in regular upkeep. There is a saying in real estate "Every home owner pays to keep their home in top shape...either as they live in it or when they sell".

Real estate offices vary in actual practice, Real estate franchises vary in the methods. It is not uncommon for a broker to have more than one office and to not be physically present in each office. In the TREC data the license number for your agent should be there, and a reference to their broker. As noted, the is probably a senior agent is acts as the office manager who would be your first point of contact after your Realtor.

So far as occupancy prior to close of escrow-
The buyers have no right of occupancy unless you give the permission. Otherwise it is trespassing.
I am sure that there is a form that your Realtor can provide (In CA it is called an Interim Occupancy Agreement - Buyer in Possession Prior To Close of Escrow). If you are contemplating that then ask to see the form first.

I am gathering from this thread that the Realtor is representing both you and the buyers, is that correct? In my office if we represent both sides in a transaction there some special guidelines that we require. I would suggest making a list of your concerns and talking with the office manager or broker regarding your questions. I do not know the customs in your local market area, however it seems to me that there would need to be special circumstances that would cause a Realtor to ask you to let them live rent free. This is a very good question to pose to the office manager/broker.

As good as Trulia may be, and as well-intentioned as we are, I strongly suggest that you establish contact with the office manager/broker and address your concerns immediately. I would also recommend a three way call and have a witness listen to the call. Document all discussions, follow up with an email, and get the office manager/broker's commitment to supervise this transaction. In particular I would ask this broker for the name of the person handling the escrow. it may be a title company in Texas.

Call that person and arrange to have special instructions written that do not permit the disbursement of commissions until you approve. The agent nor the broker do not need to be aware of or approve of this. This amendment needs to be in writing.

That should insure that you are protected. Everyone wants to be paid.

Good luck.
1 vote
James Gordon…, Agent, Hamilton, OH
Thu Jan 29, 2009
Jessica it appears that your agent works with a R/M brokerage. The broker is not a national company but a franchise. In my area there are 23 R/M brokerages all with different programs and guidelines.

Do not let these people in without a lease agreement.

They do not have enough in this transaction to hurt if something happens so be careful.
Web Reference:  http://www.Find1Home.com
1 vote
Jessica, Home Seller, Spring Branch Central, Houston, TX
Wed Jan 28, 2009
i would love to speak to the broker, if i only i knew who to speak with?!?! our listing agreement has the name of the office, which is a big, nationally known company, as the broker and far off to the right side on the same line it has the agent's name. this agent is not a broker, and he is the one that we are having so many problems with and he is blatantly serving the buyer's needs and pushing us to get this deal closed next week but we aren't sure the contract is even valid with all of these errors on it. we don't want to be liable down the road because we didn't address the issues before closing. may sound silly to ask, but who is my broker then anyway??
1 vote
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sun Feb 1, 2009
Jessica,

Thank you for the update....it's nice when people follow up and keep us informed.
0 votes
Maria Morton, Agent, Kansas City, MO
Sat Jan 31, 2009
Why is your realtor in a different time zone than you are in? Which time zone is the property in?
0 votes
Margaret T.…, Agent, Conroe, TX
Thu Jan 29, 2009
Jessica,
If you contact TREC again you can get contact information for the Broker. I would contact the Broker and let him/her try to resolve this.
The Broker is at fault but let us give them this one if the do resolve it to your satisfaction. A Broker should be in control, even if a manager is hired.
This Broker needs to know what is going on in this office.
Margaret
0 votes
Paula Bean, , Orlando, FL
Thu Jan 29, 2009
Jessica,

With the problems you have going on, as well as a lot of money at stake, I would advise you to get a real estate attorney involved.

A real estate attorney would know the laws in your State, advocate for you (which is what your agent should have been doing) so I would hire one and take it out of the Brokerage commission at closing - if they even got one. However, be forewarned, that if you are wrong or misunderstood the paperwork (which you should have clarified before this point imho then you may not be able to recoup that cost.

At least you won't have to stress out and trust people that you don't already trust. Either way, it's time to get this over with and move on with your life and if that takes paying an attorney, it's worth it. You can always file suit later on the Brokerage if the attorney disagrees with the way they handled things, but what you DO NOT want to do in this market, right now, is lose a sale that will happen very soon.

Please let us know how things turn out for you, it drives me crazy not to be able to find out this information after we get so involved and interested in your plight.

We shall all keep our fingers crossed for you and hope things turn out for the best!
0 votes
Jessica, Home Seller, Spring Branch Central, Houston, TX
Thu Jan 29, 2009
OMG!! i'm shaking so i apologize if this doesn't make sense. i sent an email to our realtor yesterday requesting copies of an executed listing agreement (mine isn't signed by him and there is no license number to compare to the one on the contract that i know is wrong) and copies of the rest of the executed docs ( i have the executed contract and that's it., no addendums, no seller's disclosure, nothing) he called me 6 times this morning, i was asleep because we are in a different time zone. when i did finally talk to him, he seemed to have a different tune like he was "super realtor" working for us. i called him out on the errors in the contract and told him that i know i have standing with trec if i decide to pursue it. he said he didn't want that. OK, are you ready for this?? he admitted that he failed to have us sign granting intermediary status in the listing agreement and that it was an honest mistake. i told him that didn't matter to me because i specifically told him before signing that i would NOT grant that under any terms, he worked for us only. i then told him that he left a paper trail showing what he tried to pull over on us. the contract says he represents buyer and seller as intermediary (even though he told us he does not represent the buyer), the mls shows no exclusive right to sell which is not what we agreed upon, etc. he admitted he proceeded with intermediary even though he knew we didn't sign that way in the listing agreement.

i told i am giving them a chance to make this right before i take action but i will not sign an amendment nor another document until the discrepancies in the contract are resolved. he then asked what he was supposed to do to make it right, and i told him to talk to his broker. i let him know that i understand if we file a complaint against the realtor, the broker is investigated too. he said his office manager is out until monday but he'll let me know. i then asked if he would talk to his manager or his broker and he said manager. in this situation, shouldn't he be willing to reach his manager immediately or go directly to his broker since the manager is absent. i would think this situation warrants immediate attention; am i getting blown off again?

i just told my husband, and he wants me to call an attorney. we can back everything up with a paper trail, and i now have this man's confession that he was trying to trick us. what should i do? man this just keeps getting worse! does anyone know of an honest real estate attorney we could consult?
0 votes
Margaret T.…, Agent, Conroe, TX
Thu Jan 29, 2009
Jessica,
It is not only the eviction laws you should worry about - it is Insurance. It they or anyone else should injure themselves you will be liable.
What is one of them falls, is in a coma and does not close?
That is why there are leases and contracts.
Margaret
0 votes
Jessica, Home Seller, Spring Branch Central, Houston, TX
Wed Jan 28, 2009
i was trying to make the description shorter as not to confuse anyone but i'm afraid i left out key details in doing so. we had a horrible experience with the first realtor we chose, a "good" friend from church (or atleast we thought!) we terminated our listing with him and hired this other man; he was totally aware of the situation and that we had been taken advantage of once already in this process. we had an understanding with him, we trusted him, and were left things in his hands so that we could move 4 states away for my husband's job (our house is vacant.) we asked him lots of questions and thought that we were making a very wise choice. we are now 4 states away and he hasn't kept up his end of the bargain. i think he is taking advantage of the fact we are not there instead of protecting us more like he promised to do.

i checked with trec and this man is a salesperson but not a broker. i suppose i'll have to try and make some phone calls to see who his broker is and where to go from here. i know who is sponsoring him according to trec but i don't see any connection between the office i hired and the broker's office except that they both are re/max offices. i find it odd they don't have a broker in their office that sponsors them, is that normal? both offices have different names and i see no dba for either nor are they referenced on the other's website. seems odd to me.

i have the forms to file trec complaints and texas realtors complaints but i don't know about doing that while still in a contract. we are "supposed" to close next week but who knows. they have fha financing and the lender is requiring a minor repair that they claim they can't pay for even though we are giving them over $10,000 for closing costs, etc. we got $25 for the option fee and only $250 earnest money and these people can't seem to pay for anything and the realtor says we are being greedy because we are making money on the sale! "you should give them more, i know how much you are making on this deal," the realtor told us. if they can't pay a few hundred dollars for a repair, how can they afford a house? something's just off, i feel it in my gut! now our agent called with a sob story that the buyer's need to move in the house because they have no where to live after friday because they got kicked out of their rental. the story before was they gave notice because they were so excited to move in our house. they don't want to pay us rent until we fund and they take possession but they'll pay for the minor repair if we let them move in. i thought they didn't have money? my agent recommended we let them live in the house free and he never mentioned doing a lease agreement or any additional paperwork. it just doesn't feel right to me but i know we are emotionally attached and that is why i am reaching out for outside help. i can't see the trees for the forest! :o)

thank you so much to all that have responded so far; i sincerely appreciate it. and to anyone else, maybe the above will further clarify our position. i'm sorry to ramble; i am just such a nervous wreck over all of this!
0 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Wed Jan 28, 2009
You need to speak directly with the broker that you listed with.

As you have described there are many inconsistances that need to be addressed.

It can all probably be worked out if in fact you do want to sell the house.

Good luck.
Web Reference:  http://www.teamlynn.com
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Jan 28, 2009
The entire contract must be reviewed determine what appears to be problems, have you contacted your listing agent broker discuss concerns resolve the issues.
Web Reference:  http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes
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