My realtor hooked me up with his contractor. A five week rehab project is very far from complete.

Asked by Angela, 21234 Thu Dec 20, 2007

When my money ran out, the contractor stopped working. My realtor suggested that I make all checks payable to him and then he would pay the contractor. I am out 55K . I believe the realtor and contractor pocketed most of the money. I have reported this to the Maryland Real Estate Commission, the Maryland Home Improvement Commision and to my realtor's manager. Where can I find a good real estate attorney? What questions should I ask before hiring the attorney? I reside in Prince George's county Maryland.

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Lavy Mammen, , Maryland
Fri Dec 21, 2007
You probably get some of your funds back by filing a compliant with the MD Real Esate Commision, the guarantee fund is established for these kind of issues and you can be reimbursed you up to 25k but you will have prove your case. Here is the website
Good Luck
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George Belle…, Agent, Ellicott City, MD
Fri Feb 22, 2008
As a former police officer, I think you might have missed a step! Not having heard the whole story, it sounds like this may have been a bit more than a simple real estate issue. I would want to know who cashed the checks, for one thing. Was there a contract? Did the agent lead you to this property with the idea of it needing rehab? The real estate commission only covers licensing issues.

Visit my website below, contact me, and I'll put you in touch with someone who I used to work with who is in charge of investigating these people for the State of Maryland
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Lanre Folayan, Agent, Washington, DC
Tue Feb 19, 2008
I AM NOT A ATTORNEY. But you said that you wanted to know what kind of questions should you ask before hiring an attorney? I hope these questions help.

What is your experience in this field?
Have you handled matters like mine?
What are the possible outcomes of my case?
What are my alternatives in resolving the matter?
Approximately how long do you think it will take to resolve?
Do you recommend mediation or arbitration?
What are your rates and how often will you bill me?
What is a ballpark figure for the total bill, including fees and expenses?
How will you keep me informed of progress?
Who else in the office will be working on my case?
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Bill Wootan's…, , Waldorf, MD
Thu Dec 20, 2007
I don't think you need a real estate attorney, but one that will sue the agent, his broker and the sub contractor that the agent hired!
I am suprized that the agent's broker (who is ultimately responsible for all the actions of the agent) has not taken a very positive move toward getting this solved. His license is also in jeopardy.
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Thu Dec 20, 2007
Sounds like a real problem. As a Realtor, I can't give legal advice, but your instincts are right: You need a good real estate lawyer.

Here are some who I'm aware of--who've been recommended to me by investors--but I can't recommend any since I've never used them. However, you might give one or more a call: Arnold Politzer, Towson, MD, 410/494-8433,; Kunnigunda Biener, Rockville, MD, Express Title Company, (301) 231-8200,; Curt Hansen, Washington, D.C. (not sure if he's licensed in Maryland), (202) 638-6700; Emily Gumpert, (301) 251-5294. And I did, very briefly, use Beau Brincefield, Alexandria, VA (not sure if he's licensed in Maryland, or whether one of his associates might be), (703) 836-2880.

Questions to ask include the basic: How long have you been practicing? Are you a specialist in real estate law? Would you have any problems, any conflicts, in taking my case? Do you, or have you ever represented [Realtor's name, or Realtor's office/company]? How much do you charge per hour? What steps would you take to resolve this case?

Hope that helps.
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