Long & Foster Real Estate — real estate buyer's agent for purchase of home
Buyer's Agent - Jefferson C. Knapp, St. Michaels, MD
Corporate Leadership - Jeffrey S. Dettwiler, P. Wesley Foster Jr., Brian J. Evans, Chantilly, VA
If you want a reputable real estate company who has concern for its clients and can be counted on to do the right thing when its agents act unethically, irresponsibly and violate their fiduciary responsibility to their clients, DO NOT choose Long & Foster to represent you in the buying or selling of your home.
I was recently terribly burned by the egregious misconduct and multiple conflicts of interest of Jefferson (Jeff) Knapp as my buyer’s agent in the purchase of my new home in St. Michaels, MD. His dereliction of duty and manipulation of the inspection process cost me $120, 000 in repairs to put the house in the livable condition it was supposedly in when I purchased it. The house was full of toxic black mold – the worst my HVAC contractor and mold remediation specialist had ever seen – and had so much wood rot that the entire large sunroom and deck above it had to be torn down to the studs and rebuilt. There were numerous other deficiencies that Jeff’s inspector-of-choice and friend, Glenn Albrecht, whom he hired to do my inspection, missed in his very cursory and incompetent inspection that he charged me $800 for. (As an aside, if you want a thorough inspection on a property you are considering purchasing on the Eastern Shore, DO NOT use Glenn Albrecht; he is considered a “seller’s inspector” because he routinely overlooks mold, rot and all manner of serious problems with a house to close the sale for his real estate agent friends who refer their clients to him for inspections. It is a dirty business where the clients get scammed and the agents and Glenn Albrecht get well.)
Jeff Knapp also solicited the post-sale renovation business from me at the same time he was acting as my buyer’s agent. Unbeknownst to me, he was not licensed to solicit or perform the renovation work (an illegal act in itself) and stood to gain financially from the repairs that were not disclosed by the inspector as necessary prior to purchase along with the enhancements I wanted to make. Interestingly, Jeff is a licensed home inspector as well and had to have known about the deficiencies himself, but said nothing.
After closing and discovering how badly Jeff Knapp needed the sizable commission from my purchase, and that he did whatever it took to make it go through, at enormous expense to me, I retained an attorney to file a complaint against Long & Foster in court. I knew that Jeff had been sued dozens of times, had bankrupted his construction company and placed his assets out of the reach of creditors and that a suit against him personally would be a waste of time and money. My attorney talked me into trying to get a settlement from L&F, which in retrospect was a huge mistake, because it just wasted that much more time and another $19, 000 in legal fees and yielded nothing after eight months of back and forth between my attorney and L&F’s Chief Legal Officer, Brian Evans. We had sent a letter enumerating the complaints about Jeff Knapp to L&F President & COO, Jeff Detwiler, who responded that he was taking my complaints seriously and tossed it to Brian for investigation. Their investigation consisted of Brian interviewing Jeff Knapp and believing his complete fabrication, and did not include talking to me or my numerous independent witnesses, who had provided written accounts. Brian said he found Jeff very credible, despite the dozens of lawsuits against him, which he laughed off.
My father, disgusted with Long & Foster’s inaction after four months to make good on a bad situation caused by their agent, wrote to Jeff Detwiler and asked him to personally take responsibility for the situation and resolution. He received a response from Jeff saying he took it seriously and was looking into it. Nothing further happened but more back and forth between attorneys with L&F consistently dragging their feet and offering nothing. Brian was supposedly talking to Jeff Knapp’s broker regarding a settlement a couple months ago but never got back to my attorney.
Even more disgusted after seven months of inaction, my father again wrote to Jeff Detwiler and this time, copied their Founder, Chairman and CEO, Wes Foster, asking them to resolve this serious ethical conflict of interest and make fair restitution to me for the damages caused by their agent or I would pursue all available avenues of recourse, including warning others of their poor business practices and that L&F doesn’t deal in good faith. Neither one of them had the decency to even respond to my father’s letter. Long & Foster used to be a good organization but it no longer is, having gone the way of so many other corporations in America – to greed and only caring about their bottom line, having lost sight of the fact that if it weren’t for clients, they wouldn’t be in business at all. Long & Foster doesn’t deserve your business or your trust and I will never use them again.