What would you do?


#1

I will try to make this story as quick as possible…but the gist is, that we have decided not to buy a home this year, rent elsewhere (the owner of the home we’re renting is going to foreclose on his home) for about two years, and save for a large downpayment. Maybe purchase next year, we’ll see…but for those of you who know the story, we relocated last year to FL, and wanted to rent first to get a sense of the community, etc…

Ok…so, here is my problem. We toured a home last Monday night (dh and I) and liked it. Called the realtor whose name is listed on the website. He says…‘great, please go to our website, and send in your info soon–DON’T WAIT.’ Exact words. (this is through email) Ok, so, last Tuesday, I send the info in…with $70 application fees. ($35 for each app) Ok, so Tuesday afternoon comes and goes–no word. I get a call Wed morning, stating that I needed to send another application (I included my and my sh’s info on the same app) for my husband. I immediately do that, (through fax again) within an hour. I hear nothing all day Wednesday. I call at the end of the day, and the admin says…‘the leasing agent who handles that is out all day, and she’ll get to it tomorrow.’ (meaning Thursday) This person is NOT the agent listed on the property. Ok, so Thursday, comes and goes…around 4:30pm, I finally call, and get the woman who was out on Wed. She says…‘your app looks good, I sent the info over and the owner should be getting back to me in the morning.’ Ok, so Friday morning comes and goes. (can you believe this?:mad: ) I heard nothing back. I call AGAIN.:rolleyes: I get transferred to the LISTING agent, not the woman I talked to on Thursday. I get his voicemail, and have never ever been able to speak with him live–but have left three voicemails throughout this ordeal, last week…NO REPLIES.

Ok…so, I get an email back from the listing agent, saying…the owner went with another applicant–but that I AM APPROVED WITH THEM. Uh, I am not looking for a realtor, I was only interested in THAT HOUSE listed by them. They didn’t have much in the specific area I’m looking in.

I talked with a real estate attorney, who is a friend of a coworker’s here, and he said that it seems shifty. That people were shifting me around the office…no one would return my calls…that I had to keep calling to get answers…all points to that perhaps they take applications and fees, all to just get someone in their database, but that they already had someone which is why they didn’t return my calls. It doesn’t take that long to approve someone’s credit and background check–it doesn’t. I’m renting the home I’m in now–it took 2 hours last year to get an answer.

So…I checked the BBB and lo and behold…they have quite a few complaints, ranging from collection agencies, to consumers like me. They have been in business since 1980, but Florida was a different place way back when. I was thinking of waging a complaint with not only the BBB, but also the Florida Board of Realtors.

[Today, I get an email from the listing agent, who said ‘as a courtesy’ he sent me links for other realtors who are listing houses. A courtesy? :confused: So, I let him be privvy to my thoughts on what happened, and that I feel mislead by his company. Had he had other pending applications, I would not have applied. That he shouldn’t have been so encouraging if he knew I was far from the only applicant. He replies with a very nasty tone–stating that he doesn’t handle the process. I replied…‘then why are you listed on your website?’] Needless to say, after seeing the negative reviews on BBB, they are obviously not above board.

What do you think? My hubby tells me to let it go…we have moved on…and found an awesome new place. I don’t know why, but I can’t let it go. The thought that they’ll keep operating this way, and ripping people off upsets me.:frowning:

I cannot wait to be a homeowner after what we have been through with realtors down here, and landlords’ foreclosure issues.


#2

Listen to your DH :slight_smile:


#3

:stuck_out_tongue: is that ALL you have to say, kage? lol

Although, my husband said it’s not a bad idea to wage a complaint with the BBB, it’s probably going to waste a lot of our valuable time to go beyond that.

My complaint is really that I was encouraged into believing that we were the only applicants, thus far. We were encouraged to thinking that the owner is flexible and would agree to a two year lease…so, it just leads me to think that the place was rented already, and they were just taking fees. I hate to be cynical, but after seeing the complaints on the BBB, it seems that I’m not alone.:frowning:


#4

kage’s advice might be the best. It depends on how much free-time you have to pursue justice in this case. It might take a whole lot of time to get anywhere. Is this how God wants you to spend your time right now? Carve out a little space of quiet time with Him everyday and you’ll get a feel. Think of your vocation, and how this fits in with it or interferes with it. Think about your peace. Can you pursue this without it upsetting your peace? God wants you to have peace, because He meets you there. So be jealous of your peace.


#5

So, lodge a detailed complaint with the BBB, and tell your family and friends what happened with that company. Word will get around, and people will stop doing business with them.


#6

Lodge a complaint with the BBB by all means, but unless you have written documentation of all the claims these people made, you don’t have legal leg to stand on. Con artists know how to circumvent the laws, which is why they haven’t been prosecuted. And the police probably have bigger fish to fry. So, unless you’ve got solid evidence of any wrongdoing, you should do as your dh says–just chalk it up to experience and go on with your lives. The only good thing is, next time you will be more savvy, yes?


#7

I think that if it would help you to know that you’re doing something about it, and you have the time, file a complaint with the BBB and anything else you feel necessary. Don’t do it out of a spirit of revenge against the company, but out of a spirit of charity for others who are going to deal with this company in the future. I wonder how many others have been injured by this company’s shady practices and decided not to do anything about it because they either didn’t have time or didn’t want to do the work.

However, obviously if your husband forbids you from taking the situation further, you need to respect his wishes as head of your family.

Just my :twocents:, for whatever it’s worth.

Scout :tiphat:


#8

I think that if it would help you to know that you’re doing something about it, and you have the time, file a complaint with the BBB and anything else you feel necessary. Don’t do it out of a spirit of revenge against the company, but out of a spirit of charity for others who are going to deal with this company in the future. I wonder how many others have been injured by this company’s shady practices and decided not to do anything about it because they either didn’t have time or didn’t want to do the work.

However, obviously if your husband forbids you from taking the situation further, you need to respect his wishes as head of your family.

Just my :twocents:, for whatever it’s worth.

Scout :tiphat:


#9

There is really no need for you to be paying application fees at this stage of the game. I am in real estate and can give you plenty of advice. Send me a private message if you would like to discuss it further. Fla can be pretty tricky these days. Best to keep your eyes open!!!

Charles Mudd


#10

I think that if it would help you to know that you’re doing something about it, and you have the time, file a complaint with the BBB and anything else you feel necessary. Don’t do it out of a spirit of revenge against the company, but out of a spirit of charity for others who are going to deal with this company in the future. I wonder how many others have been injured by this company’s shady practices and decided not to do anything about it because they either didn’t have time or didn’t want to do the work.

However, obviously if your husband forbids you from taking the situation further, you need to respect his wishes as head of your family.

Just my :twocents:, for whatever it’s worth.

Scout :tiphat:


#11

This advice really moved me…thank you. I guess I wouldn’t have peace pursuing it. I am not a vengeful person, but I will admit, perhaps my emotions are telling me to do this, than my mind. It’s not the money, but the principle that I think this company leads people to think that as long as everything looks good with the credit and background check, everything will be fine.

Ok…I will let it go. I wish it didn’t happen, though…but we get no rewind buttons in this life.:frowning:


#12

I will–thanks!


#13

Yes…I agree Scout. My husband just doesn’t see the point. He said…‘is this all we have to concern ourselves with right now?’ lol
I guess not. But, my motivation would be to stop these people from misleading anyone else in the future. Thanks for your thoughts.


#14

I used to be the same WG, but trying to ‘save the world’ can get real tiring, real quick. No-one listens, no-one cares. :shrug:

I’d do what is reasonable for the situation, but not waste a significant amount of time. Remember, even though it would have been just to speak, Jesus remained silent in front of His (false) accusers.


#15

How would you go about stopping these people from misleading anyone else in the future? That is what you need to look at to see if it is worth your time. Is there a Realtors reviewer you could complain to as well as the BBB? If not then do the BBB complaint and move on ;).

Brenda V.


#16

First, I’ve got to say that I empathize with you; I have a real “gut reaction” when it becomes clear that something shady - or possibly downright illegal - is going on and they are getting away with it.

I would certainly file a complaint with the BBB. I (speaking for myself here) would also write a letter to the company voicing your displeasure, if only to “get it off my chest.” Make it rational, not emotional, and be very clear that you believe you were “baited and switched”. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to “demand” your application fee back. (Not that anything might come of it, but it puts them on notice that at least someone is on to them…) Few people bother to put anything in writing these days, and that, itself, might make them take notice. (Perhaps that real estate lawyer friend might write a brief letter for you on his/her stationery?)

What comes to my mind is about people doing nothing in the face of wrongdoing; granted, this is not a huge deal in the scheme of things, but they likely do this all the time and reap big profits from it. (What exactly was that “application fee” for, anyway? I was a little confused, not being real familiar with rental markets. Quite a racket!)

Best of luck, and God bless.


#17

Hi dixie;

$70 for the app fee…and granted, it’s not breaking the bank by any means…BUT…who wants to throw $70 out the door, ya know? My main problem with what transpired last week, was I feel that I was just getting the run around, and not being told what was truly up with the particular house I was interested in. How do I know for sure? Maybe female intuition…I dunno. lol But, all I can say, is that I was led to believe that my application looked good, and that the owner would be replying in the morning. (Friday) Had I known that not to be the case, I wouldn’t have submitted the application, largely because their inventory was very limited in the area I was seeking. So, I would have moved on to another realtor.

Word of advice for anyone who is seeking to rent a home, etc…Only call on those where you’ll be going through the owner directly, and not a realtor. Because frankly, it’s anyone’s guess what really happened, and you’ll be out an application fee. With an owner, MOST LIKELY, he/she will be truthful that you’re the only one viewing the home. I went through an owner directly for the next place we’ll be renting…(we should have bought:rolleyes: , but time was not on our side this year:( ) and he was very upfront…and said, I have other people interested, but I am going to process your app, and you let me know what you would like to do before I show anyone else the house. That is how you ethically do business.

I learned my lesson, but after this rental–we’re done renting. We’ll just be in a better position from a down payment standpoint next year, I think. Thanks for your points of view everyone–you’re all such blessings.:slight_smile:


#18

Maybe he doesn’t see the point because he didn’t invest as much time and energy into the process as you did. I would guess that would be the difference in reaction between the two of you. I would say to register a complaint with the BBB because obviously you would feel better about the whole thing if you did. It’s not terribly time consuming to do so, and it’s not immoral to do so, and it may help someone else. I don’t know why you’d talk yourself out of doing it. Maybe then you’ll be able to forget about it because you had done something.


#19

In discussing it again last night with my husband (the horse is not yet dead!:stuck_out_tongue: ) he actually saw why it might be a good idea to actually call the Bd of Realtors. He said that clearly this was a ‘bait and switch’ just to take our monies, and get us into their system to show us other homes (baiting us with a home that matched our needs but really wasn’t available). He said that he remembers the leasing agent, how hurried he was, how he didn’t seem concerned with what we thought of the place–I mean, this is a sales person? My dh said last night that it was almost like he knew something we didn’t…like the place was already rented, but he was going through the motions. I mean, this company could do this all day long–and who would be the wiser? You rent it out, and still keep taking money, which leads me to think they have been doing for some time, due to the number of complaints on the BBB. I don’t have the time now, but after praying about this last night, I feel ‘called’ to moving forward to report this company. I don’t expect anything in return, and now that I’ve calmed down emotionally, it is not out of an emotional tizzy that I would be doing this–but if it causes them to think about what they’re doing, and not do it again, then it’s worth it. If I didn’t see so many complaints on the BBB about them, I might not think to do it, but I think that baiting and switching people when it comes to rentals, is what they’ve been up to…and that frankly, is not only immoral, it’s illegal. I read that on the Florida Bd of Realtors site yesterday.

But, I have no concrete proof…that’s what an investigation by the Bd of Realtors would do…if they have nothing to hide, and have done nothing wrong, they shouldn’t be worried over an audit.

Thanks for helping me sort through this…in the big scheme of life it’s not a huge deal, but companies shouldn’t get away with this type of thing.


#20

Awww.

All you can do is file some kind of BBB complaint like others have. Or maybe write a letter to the editor of your local paper!


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