Direct Realty / John Chisholm

1 Belleville, ON, Canada Review updated:

Stated in our agreement of purchase and sale, item H clearly stated we wished to have this removed from the property prior to closing. Mrs. Moore and her agent, John Chisholm of Direct Realty acknowledged these conditions by signing the agreement.

We would like to also add, myself, a close friend and our Agent, Tara Lyons of Royal LePage visited this property on Thursday, April 15. Mrs. Moore was more than helpful by taking us around the yard to show us where the two wells were located. Upon doing so, Mrs. Moore asked me if I wasn’t sure I would like to keep the tanks to burn garbage. I clearly told her no. Tara Lyons also explained to Mrs. Moore that it was stated in the contract they needed to be removed prior to closing. Three people heard this conversation. Mrs. Moore understood her responsibility.

We have found it difficult obtaining quotes from different companies as most would consider the discarded tires and the abandoned oil tanks as well as the many different paint cans are hazardous waste which is a removal process in itself. You will see in the quotes submitted only a couple are willing to take these items away. The mere fact this has become our responsibility is disturbing and very exhausting. Upon walking the grounds we also came across freezer contents which have been dumped by the tanks used as burn barrels. These contents were not bagged, just dumped and lying loose in a pile behind the house. These contents include packages of raw meat which to this date have been sitting and rotting in the sun and warm weather. This is sure to attract all sorts of wild life, including coyotes. We have two dogs which cannot roam free in their back yard for fear they will get at the meat and become sick, or worse, choke on bones or any other item found in this pile of garbage and rotting food.

Upon arriving to the house on Saturday, May 01, the burn barrels were in use and garbage was burning and the tanks were smouldering. Even if John Chisholm took responsibility by doing his job and contacting Mrs. Moore the day our complaint was voiced, those burn barrels couldn’t be touched until the fire was out completely. It has been five days since we arrived to our new home and those barrels are still smouldering, and the smell of burning garbage is surrounding our home as well as the neighbours on either side of us. This is a fabulous way to start our new life in a new area amongst people we have not had the pleasure of meeting.

The pictures we sent on Monday, May 03 show all the contents left behind. Our agent suggested we start bringing items to the side of the house to make it easier for the cleaning crew to collect it and throw it in the bins. Why all this effort on our part? We work full time and our move was delayed because we were unable to enter the garage for all the debris throughout 1000 sq feet. If these companies are quoting labour to include at least three to four men, how is it possible for a family of four, including children to have this neatly put aside for the convenience of a cleaning crew? Most items are furniture, appliances and boxes of items that we feel are not our responsibility. The home owner had thirty days to obtain her own quotes and to make arrangements to have this removed as per the contract. Again, had John Chisholm been doing his job, Mrs. Moore would have been guided to ensure she understood her responsibilities prior to closing. We believe she is an old woman who was not represented in accordance to the ethic policy vowed by all real estate agents. This man was very aware of the steps to ensure closing and the minute the buyers had a complaint, he washed his hands free of the situation.

Item G states, the seller agrees to have the septic system pumped on or before 5 days prior to the completion date. There is no evidence this has been done. The last time Ace Septic stepped foot on this property and recorded their services was in 2000. The septic systems need to be maintained and pumped every four years. According to the service log, it has been ten years since this has last been done. We have a picture of this service log.

Tara Lyons, our real estate agent had to contact John Chisholm to request our potable water sample. John Chisholm informed Tara Lyons via email the report was going to be mailed to us. I have included a copy of this email. The request for survey was also noted. Tara thought perhaps the survey was with our lawyer, Michael Black.

Item I-The seller agrees to provide one potable water sample prior to closing. This contract was dated March 31 2010 with all signatures binding to the agreement. 16 days after acknowledging and agreeing to this condition and while my husband was moving our contents to the garage as stipulated in Item J, Mrs. Moore asked if he would come in and take a look at her U.V. system as two of the water samples returned showed contamination. I explained to Mrs. Moore due to the circumstances, we were unable to assist her that day as we had a responsibility to return our rental truck which carried our items to the house. My husband and I own and operate a plumbing company, we are key dealers for WaterGroup Canada and therefore, Mrs. Moore was asking us to provide a service by looking at the U.V. System. At this point we have now turned into a professional service hired by the seller, we are now playing two sides. The system which was installed prior was out dated, the bulb needed to be replaced and it also required a new ice ballist. The cost of these parts versus the cost of a new unit cost the same. She stated she would pay for a new one. Our office contacted Mrs. Moore on Friday, April 23 to make arrangements to have a plumber come in and replace the unit. Mrs. Moore stated they were having a an auction sale that day and she would be busy. Our office asked her when the auction was scheduled to end, she figured it would end when all her belongings were gone. We asked if we could come in on Tuesday, April 27. Mrs. Moore stated she wasn’t sure if she was going to be home. At this point she had exactly three days to resolve the issue of the broken unit, submit a water sample and provide us with a clean water analysis. The office made arrangements to visit Mrs. Moore on Wednesday, April 28 with a note to call ahead prior to arriving.

On Tuesday, April 27 our office received a call from John Chisholm inquiring as to when we were going to install the new unit. My husband’s determination was explained to John Chisholm and the unit was in need of replacing. By not doing so, the parts required to repair the unit will take up to three weeks to obtain from our supplier. The cost again was discussed and that she was better off to purchase a new unit. I also explained to John Chisholm that we were worried this may be a conflict of interest as we were afraid it might appear that as the buyers/installers we just wanted to install our own product. He asked if they should get another plumber. I advised him we can do the job, but it is up to Mrs. Moore. John Chisholm was worried that we were going to miss the deadline, could we install the unit and let the mortgage company know we are installing a new unit and the water test will come back clear without contamination and we will send off the certificates showing the analysis when they arrive. We never contacted our mortgage company requesting this. Mr. Chisholm asked again if we could go out that afternoon to install the system. I told him we could and our plumbers arrived, installed the new system and left.

On Wednesday April 28 we received a call from John Chisholm inquiring as to whether or not my husband, the installer, managed to pull a water sample and take it to the health board for analysis. My husband was clear and told him it was not our responsibility to do that and we are now the installers of the unit, we can’t submit the water sample and again, it is the responsibility of the agent who was hired by the seller or the seller herself.
We heard no more on the subject, but still have not received the report in writing.

Upon going through some of the garbage in the garage and attempting to make room for our own belongings, my husband came across some notes. It is clear the seller was influenced by her agent in order to obtain a clear water sample in the second week of April. These notes suggest the homeowner pour two bottles of Javex Bleach down the well. This is known as tricking the well. This procedure is illegal as it gives a false reading. This is interesting and we wonder how often this procedure takes place within real estate companies when attempting to close a deal and collect their commission cheques.
Perhaps it is a good thing we are in the business we are in and we supplied our own equipment, otherwise, these notes could be taking on a different tone.

The original listing advertised the home was equipped with a central air conditioning unit. As well as the mess left behind for us to discover, we also discovered this unit is not in working order. Why advertise the house comes equipped with this feature if it doesn’t work?

We are so disheartened by this experience and frustrated that each and every day since we took possession of this house we look onto what could be a very nice yard instead is distorted by garbage, the smell of rotting meat and the clear understanding that agents really do not look out for your best interest, but instead how much thicker their wallets will be at the end of the sale. This could have all been avoided had Mrs. Moore’s agent been more forthcoming by guiding his client to ensure none of this would happen. But he’s off sipping Margueritas somewhere thanking her for the opportunity of serving her, just barely.

Sort by: UpDate | Rating


  • Jc
      27th of May, 2010

    What happened was that I had the property listed. The man just passed away at 93 yrs old and his wife of 90 years old and did not drive was still living there. I negotiated an offer with the buyer, Mr and Mrs Donovan from Donovan plumbing in Stirling through Tara Lyons from Royal Lepage. Tara even asked me if I could go to Stirling to give the offer to her Buyer and have them sign since she was too busy. I did this for her and met with her Buyers. In the agreement it stated that the 90 yr old lady would have a water sample taken instead of her Buyer, who supposedly is a plumber. I went over and helped my Seller take the water sample in early April since the Buyer wanted her out in 30 days and knew that she did not have an apartment to go to at that point. He also wanted to store his furniture in her garage on the 15th of April ( 2 weeks after signing the agreement) since they had sold and did not have a place to go. The water sample did not come back 0/0. I asked her to have Mr Donovan put in an ultraviolet light. This was on the 15th, the day he was moving the furniture in and he was right there. She said she spoke to him and he said he would. I went back to help her take another sample and he still did not have it in. I called them and said could they put it in. They said they would. The next water sample that we took did not come back 0/0 either since there was no UV light. I called Donovans again and they could not do it until the 28th, 2 days before closing. I asked them if they could do it a day earlier and take the sample in, maybe we could get it back by the Friday. They said they would try. During this time, my Seller of 90 years old and a son who is legally blind had an auction sale. The Seller told me that Doug Jarrell, the auctioneer would clean up everything after the sale. The only thing she was worried about was to move her bed on the closing date to her apartment. I told her if she did not have anyone help her that I would bring my trailer over and assist her. She did not call.

    I received some pictures from Tara Lyons regarding the stuff that was left. This is not a Realtors job to clean up after someone leaves but I did call the last number I had for my Seller and it forwarded it on to another number. I left a message on her voicemail. I found out that she had been sick in bed for the last 3 days and she told me she expected it was all going to be cleaned up but she had someone there doing it.

    I was accused of putting Javex in the well...I had told my Seller to contact the health authorities and they do advise about Javex in the well. I have never done this in 35 years of selling Real estate and I will not do it now just to get a good water sample. I told the Buyers that it did not come back 0/0 and they had 2 weeks to put the system in. I convinced my Seller to pay him $800.00 for a new UV system that was not included in the agreement. She could have put Javex in the well and it would have came back good but I do not do that.

    Mr Donovan finally put a UV system in 2 days before closing and the last water sample came back 0/0.

    I went above and beyond what an agent normally does and I have not had any correspondence from anyone that I had to clean up the property. I guess these people have too much time on their hands. I do agree that the owners were responsible to clean up the property but this 90 year old lady had relied on others to do it. As a result it is my fault. If they believe this, then I will take the blame to make them feel better.
    John Chisholm, B.Sc., Broker
    Direct Realty Ltd.

    0 Votes
  • Ro
      20th of Jul, 2010

    Before writing up such a damming report it would have helped if they had all the pertinent facts. A GOOD name in business is important to keep, and even harder to restore once it is so blatantly tarnished.

    0 Votes
  • Hd
      20th of Jul, 2010

    Really Robert? How can we not have facts when we lived it. Not one ounce of this "report" is embellished in anyway. I understand that you may be a close friend of Mr. Chisholm and you feel it is your God given duty to be loyal to your friend, however we didn't meet you during the sale/purchase/closing of this transaction, how can you judge this as factless? I'm sorry, were you present when the signing of these supposed contracts took place, or even better were you present the day the house was vacated and left in such disarray. Prior to you posting any sort of opinion or comment, I would suggest you get your facts straight. So many people, so many can back our accusations up. unfortunately, it has gone to a higher level and if Mr. Chisholm was half the business man he claims he is, he would have ensured some sort of action to help guide his client to live up to her agreement that is part of his job, which he failed at. I would invite you to browse some the pictures and reread our complaint and try to comprhend it. I know it's hard to fathom, but John Chisholm let the ball drop on this one. Which leads to the question...what would you have done if this is what you were met with? I can bet you would hold everybody involved in the sale/purcahse accountable.

    0 Votes
  • Ed
      20th of Jul, 2010

    This is in reference to the garbage that was left behind by Mr. Chisholm's client. Although Mr. Chisholm makes it a point to repeatedly mention his client's age I'm not getting, from his tirade, that in any way did he try to assist his client to keep up her end of the bargain. I'm assuming Mr. Chisholm's signature is on the contract along side of his client, so legally and ethically speaking wouldn't that mean he will ensure the terms of the contract are met? Otherwise why sign a contract at all? No one would expect a 90 year old woman to clean this mess up but wouldn't the real estate agent advise his client that she is financially responsible and perhaps arrange for the clean up on his clients behalf?

    Mr. Chisholm, why didn't you follow up with the client to ensure that she had made arrangements to move her bed? After all, she is 90 years old and perhaps she didn't remember your generous offer to bring your trailer around to help her move the bed.

    Mr. Chisholm's focus seems to be on the lack of a water sample. Isn't it fortunate that the buyer, Mr. Donovan, just happened to be a plumber and was readily available to Mr. Chisholm? Otherwise Mr. Chisholm would be using whatever other plumbing company he chose to install the UV light as his scapegoat.

    I don't get the feeling, Mr. Chisholm, that you went above and beyond what a real estate agent normally does. In fact, if you did this whole incident should make future home buyers/sellers very, very cautious when it comes to selecting a reliable real estate agent.

    0 Votes
  • Ed
      28th of Jul, 2010

    This is an interesting story. Is it okay for an agent to tell a seller to use Javex on a well before water tests are conducted by a purchaser? Perhaps it depends on whether the water was intended to be potable?

    0 Votes

Post your comment