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Ordering compliance work to be done - Realtor Beware!

Customer service - this is what we all want to be known for.  Anyone that has been in the business any length of time has ordered work done on a home on behalf of a buyer or seller.  I have done this more times that I can remember.

Well a Realtor friend contacted me last year to assist her with some Spanish speaking buyers.  She found these buyers and then asked for my assistance in writing the offer which I did. The home was inspected and need some extensive compliance work.  My Realtor friend asked me if I knew of a good handyman that could do the work.  I told her I did and gave her the name.  I told her to give the name to the listing agent and have his seller order the work since the work had to be completed prior to closing.

In her haste to get the work ordered she called the handyman herself and ordered the work completed.  Two weeks prior to closing and after the work had been completed an easement issue arose and after a month long extension the sale fell apart because the easement issue could not be resolved.

The handyman called for payment several time and my Realtor friend said to contact the listing agent since it was the sellers responsibility to have the work completed per the contract.  The seller of course said he never ordered the work done and was not paying for it.

Since the total of the work done was less than the limit for small claims court in Idaho the handyman took my Realtor friend to small claims court.   Yes, you are right, the judge ruled in favor of the plaintiff (handyman) and ordered a judgement against my Realtor friend.

My Realtor friend later contacted an attorney about filing a claim against the seller.  Her attorney told her to save her money and learn a valuable lesson which is NEVER ORDER COMPLIANCE WORK.  It does not matter how minimal or how major the work is to be done.

First of all, if you recommend someone and also order the work you have not only "steered" a client towards a contractor but you have created a "contractual verbal agreement" between you and the contractor.

All my friend had to do is give the name of the handyman to the listing agent to give to the seller  and she would have been off the hook.  In her haste to be an aggressive Realtor that got things done she paid a heavy price.

Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes

Comment balloon 20 commentsGeorge Tallabas • June 21 2007 05:05PM

Comments

Hi George,

Nice information for Realtors who might not be aware of this possible problem. I won't oder anything unless it is in writing from the seller.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) almost 12 years ago
Neal...thank you my friend.  Have a wonderful evening.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
George - Good info - We often times want to just be helpful, especially with out of town buyers. Very wise warning!
Posted by Paula Henry, Realtor - Indianapolis Real Estate - 317-605-4174 (Home to Indy Team @ HomeSmart Realty Group) almost 12 years ago
George- very helpful information thanks for talking about it. have a great day
Posted by Dan Tobias, Northridge Real Estate Expert (Rodeo Realty) almost 12 years ago

Paula - Thank you my friend...I hope all is well.

Dan - You are welcome and have a great evening.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
George:  Very good advice!  I always like to cover my rear and will remember this for future reference!
Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) almost 12 years ago

Thanks Marchel...I was hoping everyone, especially Realtors new to the market would read this and place it in their memory bank.  Have a great evening.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

George,

Great reminder. I am very careful with this myself. I will never order work for anyone.

Jack 

Posted by Jack Haydon, Clearwater Beach Condos - Real Estate Homes for Sale (Charles Rutenberg Realty) almost 12 years ago

Jack...good hearing from you.  Give my best to your lovely wife and have a great evening.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

Geeze George, I live in the land of abscentee owner and estate settlements. If I didn't do the compliance work it wouldn't get done.  Fortunately I haven't been stung.

Posted by Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Listing Agent (Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL) almost 12 years ago
George...Excellent reminder. Be the source for the source but never be the source. Give them the information on how to get the information!
Posted by Monika McGillicuddy, Southern NH & the Seacoast Area (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty) almost 12 years ago
That is a good example of why you always give multiple referral choices. That way the party selecting them has the obligation not you.
Posted by Danny Smith (DISCOVER TEXAS HOMES) almost 12 years ago

Chris - You have been lucky my friend.  If I were you ordering a lot of compliance work I would have each seller give you a limited power of attorney.  This way they are giving your written authority to represent them.  Just my two cents.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago

Monika - Thanks for your comment and have a great weekend.

Danny - Thank you and have a great day.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 12 years ago
Hi George, Whew! Thanks for the advice. You are always on top of things.
Posted by Dianne Barody, Pensacola Florida Real Estate (Century 21 AmeriSouth Realty) over 11 years ago
Thank you Diane my friend.  I hope you are doing well. Take care and God bless.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
Hi George, I am doing much better.  I have let go and let God. Thank you for being a wonderful friend
Posted by Dianne Barody, Pensacola Florida Real Estate (Century 21 AmeriSouth Realty) over 11 years ago

Dianne...I am glad you are doing much better and remember you have a friend in Idaho :-)

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George...and I thank you so much for that
Posted by Dianne Barody, Pensacola Florida Real Estate (Century 21 AmeriSouth Realty) over 11 years ago
You are welcome my friend.  Have a wonderful evening.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

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