GWINNETT COUNTY, GA – You get a big check just for signing up – that’s part of the sales pitch for a real estate company doing business in the metro Atlanta area.
But you also take out a 40-year contract.
MV Realty is based in Florida and advertises a “Homeowner Benefit Program”. A check is immediately cut when you register. This could range from $ 300 to $ 5,000 depending on the value of your home.
Then MV Realty has the exclusive right to sell your home for the next 40 years.
Wanda Babb is currently sleeping in an RV outside her fire-damaged Gwinnett County home.
She was due to close the sale of her house on May 26 to move to Florida with her daughter.
But the sale was blocked because MV Realty has a lien on the property.
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MV Realty said he has the exclusive right to sell the property, not other realtors.
“They saw a sick person with a sick house and chased them,” Wanda Babb told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray.
“I’ve never heard of anything like this – never, ever,” said Clark Howard, Channel 2 consumer advisor.
The penalty for canceling an MV Homeowner Benefit contract is 3% of the value of your home.
In Babb’s case, it’s over $ 6,000.
“Anytime someone says to you, ‘Hey, we’re going to pay you just to sign up with us,’ there’s a danger there. That’s not the way the real estate industry works, ”Howard said.
Babb said she was in bed recovering from hospitalization for a fall when MV’s rep showed up.
“She sat on the edge of the bed. I don’t know everything she said. I have no idea, ”Babb said.
But MV Realty says it was Babb who originally contacted them. MV Realty told us in a statement:
“The allegations of Ms. Babb and her lawyer are unfortunately not true. The company takes steps at all times to ensure that its customers understand the program and only join the program if they choose to do so. Ms. Babb asked many questions about the program before deciding to join the program and was thrilled when she signed up for the program and collected the $ 700 she was given under the program. “
Babb’s attorney, Jeffrey Jackson, said the MV’s agent should have been able to see that she was not doing well.
“This person should have known that no deal should have been made. But they kept going in, ”Jackson said.
“Has any of you ever seen a 40-year listing agreement?” Gray asked the advertiser and the home buyers’ agents. “Never, never,” they replied.
The two agents, Rebecca Broich and Jane Seanar, told Gray that they agreed to waive their commissions so Babb could pay the penalty to MV Realty and sell the house.
“They are holding her hostage, and it pays the ransom to get out,” Broich said.
MV Realty claims that the Owner Benefit Program fully complies with Georgian law.
MV said the owner was under no obligation to sell the house. But if they do, it has to be through them.
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