Beth Baker Owens / Unethical, & extremely dishonest
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,