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Beth Baker Owens / Unethical, & extremely dishonest

1 United States Review updated:

Here is a situation that I hope that is not the norm.

I signed with a realtor, Beth Baker Owens, in April of 2006. My contract states " After June 19, 2006, the seller may notify Agent in writing to terminate this agreement." There is also another area in the contract that states that the seller is not responsible for any debts incurred by the Realtor in the marketing of the home. So, after my home did not sell, I decided I was unwilling and unable to reduce the price. I tried to refinance and the lender told me that I could not refinance until the home was off the market. On August 20, 2006, I notified my realtor in writing that I wanted to take my home off the market and terminate the contract. She stalled and insisted that we meet. I explained to her that my father had just had major surgery and that was not possible and that I just wanted her to take the home off the market so I could refinance. Then she said I had to pay $250.00 "transaction fee" to help cover marketing expenses. When I asked her to show me where that was in the contract, she couldn't show me. Then she emailed me a form that I had to sign before she would terminate the contract and remove the home from the market. The form is an "Agreement to Amend/Extend contract with broker" In this form, she typed " Seller will pay Re/Max Alliance, DTC a transaction fee of $250.00 to terminate the agreement to defer some of the marketing costs. " Meanwhile she scheduled 2 showings of my home, knowing full well that I wanted it taken it off the market. I was not notified of either showing. I had taken the key out of the lockbox because the house was no longer for sale and the Realtor showed up and could not get in. Then she scheduled another one and I did not find out until the company called to cancel the scheduled showing...imagine my surprise when I was not even notified of it at all. I have refused to sign this form. She now says I can just scratch that part out and sign it. No way am I signing that. She has refused to take my home off the market until she gets the signed form and I have lost nearly 2 months time that I could have already been refinanced to a lower rate. Finally this week, one of her Supervisors agreed to "Take care of it" after I called and complained that it was still on the market. He still says she wants that form signed. I told him that I asked another realtor and they said all she needed in the first place was the original written request from August 20, 2006. I am so upset on so many levels.

I feel she has been unethical, & extremely dishonest.

She misrepresented the form she was having me sign. She was, in my opinion, using coersive, extortion tactics to change the original agreement so she could get the $250.00 from me to terminate the contract. I guess she figured I would sign it so I could refinance, she knows how much I am struggling financially with the high house payment. That has got to be not only unethical, but illegal as well. She has failed to honor the contact which I think is breach of contract and failure to perform. She has caused so much grief. If she would have terminated the contract and listing when I asked her in writing in the first place I could have refinanced immediately. Now I had to pay 2 months at the much higher interest rate. I am talking 12%!! There is about $780.00 a month difference in the way my payments would have been if she had honored her own contract. The good thing about this that while I was working at a small business and a regular job, and taking care of my father everyday at his house across town, so, thank goodness I had communicated entirely by email, so everything is documented!

I have notified the BBB, Neither her or Her company responded before the deadline. BBB set a new deadline. I have filed a formal complaint with the state Board and they have assigned a case number and they are investigating. I am very concerned for others that may fall into her greedy web of deceit. She has probably pulled this before. I have all the emails and can forward them if you like. I know there are some great realtors out there, but I will be very suspicious for a long while to come, because of her behavior. Is there anything else I can do?

thanks for your time,

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  • Gr
      2nd of Dec, 2006
    0 Votes

    That ### needs to have her ### slapped!

  • Co
      12th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    I'm in the process of using Beth as a buyer's agent when buying my first house. I'm an intelligent engineer, but not very knowledgeable about real estate or home construction in general. I'm not related to Beth, and I don't benefit from reviewing her... nor did she ask me to write this.

    In my opinion, and I'm sure that of her numerous other customers, Beth is extremely honest, straightforward, caring and considerate. She made it very clear to me from day one that she was nothing if not 100% transparent and impartial. She shares her evaluations, but allows me to make the decisions. She's extremely empathetic and tuned to what kind of feeling I get about each house and neighborhood. She has been available to me at almost every hour of the day, to answer questions and explain the buying/selling process. She has made numerous trips across the state (a 45 minute drive each way) to my ideal neighborhoods, and arranged additional trips to show my favorite houses to friends and family. Her paperwork is neat and organized each time. She pulled all available comps and researched lots of other aspects of the surrounding area (city zoning, future residential and commercial building plans and restrictions). She explained the different types of foundation structures and subflooring: I learned about slab on grade where they remix the soil down 12 feet, vs elevated cement on casons with a steel brace, vs elevated wood flooring, french drains with dehumidifiers, sump pits. She explained the various types of houses built for each decade, bi/tri-levels, the features I'd be buying if I stuck to newer houses, and so on. She knows to smell for moisture and look for signs of water damage. I'm sure I'm forgetting most of what we talked about. After her 10+ years of experience and hundreds of clients, she has experience few do, and you can tell she loves her job.

    Regarding the previous poster's negative comments:

    She clearly stated to me in our first couple one-on-one conversations that she had a $250 retainer fee. This is spelled clearly out in my Right-To-Buy contract, section 8(a)(3) - "Retainer Fee". She would only collect it in case we couldn't find a house and I decided to give up looking after so many days. This was obvious to me, and it should have been obvious to any sane person. People don't work for nothing, and I wouldn't trust or work with someone who said they were free. In fact, for the amount of work she's gone through, $250 is a bargain. If she DID forget to put her retainer fee in the previous poster's contract, I doubt Beth forgot to verbally mention it to her. It looks like Beth even tried to waive it after the fact just to be rid of the hassle, but was probably silenced by the lawyers this woman threw at her.

    It was a vicious circle - Beth wouldn't release the house due to legal reasons until the woman signed a piece of paper saying so. The woman didn't want to sign it because of the $250 fee, so Beth told her to cross off the fee and sign it. The woman chose not to, because she was paranoid and emotional. Then the ReMax legal team probably restricted both of them from communicating, pending investigation. The point to emphasize is that Beth gave her an out, and even waived the fee, but the irrational woman chose not to take it. Plus she probably lost substantial business having to deal with this nutjob, both in lost time and in the slander she'd have to take quietly on the other cheek.

    Hopefully it will inspire her other satisfied customers to also post reviews. Contact me anytime at "spam -a-t- slickapps dot-com", I stand by what I say.


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