Real Estate Nightmare #7
Here’s a scenario that actually occurred with one of my clients.
My clients and I showed up at a real estate brokerage office early on a Sunday morning, to present the monthly cheques and key deposit for my clients new rental home. We got to the office early. There were no signs of anyone being around. Ten minutes after the scheduled appointment time, a male agent exists the front door (which was locked) to let us in. This is the agent we had been communicating with on this deal.
We are shown to the conference room and began introductions. The agent informed us that another agent “is running late and will be joining us”. This was the first time we had heard of another agent being involved in the transaction.
Another 10 minutes passed and the other agent shows up and takes over the transaction. Mind you, this is someone that neither I nor my clients have ever had any interaction with. This agent proceeded to tell my clients that they would need to provide a furniture deposit. I informed her that the male agent has already been told that the request for this deposit came after the contract was signed and agreed to, so no other monies will be paid except those agreed to in the contract.
She informed my clients that she will now need “to come by the home and take pictures of the furniture”. This should have been completed prior to the possession date by anyone that is leaving furniture in their rental home – with or without a deposit. How else would one know the condition of the furnishings without photos?
This 10 minutes process turned into more than an hour and a half. It turns out that the male agent was a member of the female agents real estate team, though that had never been disclosed or indicated in any of the interactions that proceeded the possession date meeting.
My clients were very bothered by this and felt like this outside person was coming in to change the rules and the contract at the last minute. This made for a very uncomfortable transaction and supports the belief that using a real estate professional for your needs, can help prevent and smooth out any of these last minute surprises for clients.
If these clients had gone at this on their own (via Kijiji, Craigslist or similar online searches), they may have either not gotten the home (and been homeless) or they would have had to pay out an additional deposit (the lead agent had requested a $1500 furniture deposit).
The lesson in the nightmare: Always have a trusted real estate professional on your side in any real estate transaction. Things can and do happen at the last minute that can cost you.