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Old 10-28-2012, 06:03 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,625 times
Reputation: 10

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My broker stole items from my house about $5000 worth and i requested a cancellation of our contract. He wont let me go or give my keys back. I have made a police report and now he demands money for advertising etc. I have a new Realtor that listed the house now the old Realtor wants money and his commission when house is sold.
Can he do this?
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:19 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
5,191 posts, read 6,549,284 times
Reputation: 2940
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredmartin94 View Post
My broker stole items from my house about $5000 worth and i requested a cancellation of our contract. He wont let me go or give my keys back. I have made a police report and now he demands money for advertising etc. I have a new Realtor that listed the house now the old Realtor wants money and his commission when house is sold.
Can he do this?
First, call his broker if he's the agent to let them know what happened.

Second, get a laywer "IF" you can prove he stole from you.
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,607 posts, read 2,339,229 times
Reputation: 999
How do you know the agent stole from you?
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:00 PM
 
599 posts, read 916,362 times
Reputation: 399
What did he steal and how do you know?
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Denver & Boulder regions
160 posts, read 113,088 times
Reputation: 173
If you don't have actual proof that your broker stole the items, I would be careful about defamation of character!
As someone mentioned, make an appointment with the managing/supervising broker of his office and have a chat with them and explain what is occurring and your dissatisfaction. Although it does require both parties to agree to terminate the listing agreement; consult your listing agreement anyway; but the very least give actual written notice to terminate to show your intent and wish to terminate. I can't tell you what to do but things to consider - withdraw your property from the market - and have it w/drawn from the MLS. With regard to the keys, are they copies he made or a set made by you? (have the managing broker remove the lockbox from your house and return all keys) The thing you could politely drop is 'am I to subjectively interpret that you may be unlawfully withholding my personal property?' ... see how they react.

With regards to the advertising money... refer to your listing agreement, if its not in agreed writing that one is to reimburse an agent if the LA is to terminate etc then agent is likely SOL and its just a cost of business. sounds to me its idle and unwarranted threats. With regards to owing commission, if he's not somehow involved with procuring cause action, then Sorry Charlie, again, they're SOL. Now, the thing to pay attention to is if there is a Holdover Period in your listing agreement as that comes into relevance.

If you amend to withdraw your property - shorten the length of the listing period b) shorten any Holdover period. c) have it immediately withdrawn from the MLS. Basically aim to have everything naturally expire a day or so after you withdraw - (although a house is withdrawn, it still has an active listing agreement until the period ends; also inorder to relist elsewhere, a property often has to be withdrawn from the MLS beforehand). If you terminate, do the same as aforementioned just to be safe. Have everything in writing.

You might also call and talk to the board which that Realtor belongs to, there may be grounds to complain about ethic violations ... if things really get unresolved, it might be a matter to involve the regulatory agency in your state.

If you are relisted, change the locks and frequently make sure the lockbox combo is changed.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:32 AM
 
1,619 posts, read 1,853,185 times
Reputation: 2163
In the event of a theft, even if you are not sure who is responsible, a police report is called for.
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Gilbert - Val Vista Lakes
6,066 posts, read 8,336,247 times
Reputation: 3676
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredmartin94 View Post
My broker stole items from my house about $5000 worth and i requested a cancellation of our contract. He wont let me go or give my keys back. I have made a police report and now he demands money for advertising etc. I have a new Realtor that listed the house now the old Realtor wants money and his commission when house is sold.
Can he do this?
What your broker is apparently saying is that he will agree to cancel the contract if you cover his out of pocket expenses. That is reasonable.

How can your new Realtor list the house when you are still under contract with another Realtor who has the listing on the MLS. Only that agent can remove the listing from the mls.

Did you inform the new Realtor that you are under contract with another agent? If not, you may end up owing two commissions, depending on what the contract says.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:09 AM
 
932 posts, read 751,568 times
Reputation: 1556
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
What your broker is apparently saying is that he will agree to cancel the contract if you cover his out of pocket expenses. That is reasonable.

How can your new Realtor list the house when you are still under contract with another Realtor who has the listing on the MLS. Only that agent can remove the listing from the mls.

Did you inform the new Realtor that you are under contract with another agent? If not, you may end up owing two commissions, depending on what the contract says.
Its not reasonable at all if the Broker did in fact steal items from the house...If the theft occurred and we know its the broker, I would tell him to pound sand...but that is just the emotional side of me.

The intellectual side tells me you have a two-sided problem....the first is the theft. Obviously its criminal. You have made your police report, now you need to follow through see that he is arrested, press charges, and get some court ordered remuneration for that.

The second side, is the real estate contract....Read your agreement, it probably does not say anything at all about cancellation for theft, but that does not mean you can't cancel b/c of theft. I would write a letter informing the broker that you are cancelling b/c he breached his fiduciary duty of honesty and that you do not intend to compensate him for anything at all. I would be extremely specific and I would send the letter certified with return receipt to his office.

You have to be aware of the fact that he may sue to comply with the agreement. If you do indeed have proof that he stole from you, then a court is likely (though not guaranteed) to rule in your favor....in my letter I would request receipts for ALL out of pocket expenses related to selling your house.

I would compensate him actual cost only for items that you received a benefit from - ie - print advertising, flyers, those types of things....I would require actual receipts for payment. I would request that he deliver all remaining flyers, brochures, keys, etc within 7 days of the letter. If he complies, I would pay him for those items. I would not compensate him for his time, fuel, mileage or any other expense that you did not receive a direct benefit from....

Thats just me....I have ZERO tolerance for a thief...If you take that route, be prepared to be sued though...Sometimes doing the right thing and teaching an idiot a lesson can be expensive, but its still the right thing to do....but also be aware you better have incontrovertible proof that he is the one who stole from you....Otherwise, as Bill points out its possible to get yourself into a situation where you owe 2 people for the work of only 1.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:31 AM
 
14 posts, read 10,198 times
Reputation: 13
I believe that the broker is under contract. read your old contract with him. he had the lockbox. he was responsible for ANYONE who came into that home. that is why they usually are bonded.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
7,012 posts, read 11,009,215 times
Reputation: 3538
I hope the OP returns, would be interested in the rest of the story.
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