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Ticky Tack

Here are perhaps the last few crumbs I'll share with you from last week's serving of awful pie:

In the month before closing, the listing agent (referred to yesterday as M), attempted to intimidate my client into sharing the cost of some modifications needed on the house to bring it up to current building code. He demanded that she reimburse the two real estate agents $500 of the $1,500 they had paid to contractors for the upgrades.

My client told me that she refused to pay one more cent towards sellers’ obligations (remember that she had agreed to pay $1,000 already, thinking the sellers were short in what they owed their lenders). Therefore, I emailed the paralegal, J, telling her that despite the agents’ attempts, the buyer was disinclined to kick in any more money.

Apparently, M would not be deterred from getting the $500 from my client, and so early in the closing, he requested the “promised” money. Told “no,” and shown the print out of the (acknowledged) email, M ratcheted up his words and tone of voice from demanding to commanding.

When I told him to cease the pressure and let us move on to the closing at hand, he became downright belligerent. He yelled at me that he was just “getting what’s due—everybody here wants to earn a living” (the tone was way, way worse than these words might convey).

You’d think that the $250 to each agent would be a substantial piece of change the way this character was acting.  And maybe taken out of context, it is.  But my client and I knew something that made his heavy-handed attempt at intimidation even more infuriating. What did we know that made it even easier to tune out his accusation that my client was taking food off his table?  We’d seen the bill revealing that the real estate agencies weren’t getting our area’s customary 4-5% commission, but were charging a full 6% of the price. The sputtering SOB trying to shakedown my client for $250 was sharing in a $17,000+ payday!

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Nov. 11th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC)
Everybody is entitled to make a living, but doing it off the back of someone just because she's nice is something that should be defended against.
real_lawyer
Nov. 11th, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC)
I agree. The agents spent the $1,500 in order to ensure a $17,000 payday for themselves. My client's contribution would have only ensured that she had less money than planned to fix up the house.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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