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Failed DealBUYER BEWARE!!!
Tom Cavallo from Charles Rutenberg Realty was representing the seller, who was his father, for a house we went to see at an open house. We were the first to arrive, but Tom turned his attention to other potential clients. Therefore we walked around on our own. We really liked the house so much; we made an offer 2 days after seeing the house.
Since accepting our offer, Tom kept pushing us to get things done quickly, constantly contacting our agents when he was unhappy and impatient instead of contacting his own lawyer to handle it. Whenever we had certain concerns or requests, which are completely reasonable when negotiating for a house, he consistently threw it in our faces that he had other offers. He would always contact our agents first to discuss our issues. It was as if he was trying to get our own agents to negotiate with us. We felt that was unprofessional.
We moved quickly on the house not due to Tom's selling skills. We did everything we were supposed to do on our end in a timely fashion completing all necessary paperwork within 2 days after our offer was accepted. Even before our lawyer received the contract, Tom was calling our agents reminding us they wanted to move quickly and they had other offers . . . again! He even showed us another official offer, and he said, "I'm straightforward and honest. I tell it like it is. I just wanted you to know I'm not lying."
Tom made us believe we were getting the house the whole time. He allowed us to walk around the house taking pictures, making plans, letting us believe this was our house. He even told us he would give us the extra materials, instruction manuals, warranties, etc. He also forwarded the floor plan, so we would have the dimensions of the house.
Finally, we signed the contract and wrote out a check for escrow. A week had passed since we signed the contract, and we did not hear from Tom. We became suspicious, because it was not Tom's usual behavior. Our instincts already told us he was making another deal. That was a horrible feeling wondering if our instincts were correct, and they were right on.
It was our agents who initiated contact with Tom several times before he finally responded and "explained" that they were backing out of our deal. He told our agents that the backer for the house completed another contract deal without his knowledge. Personally we feel this was a lie, and if it was the truth, it does not make Tom look very good either if he was unaware of another deal. Plus, when we contacted his own lawyer, he had no idea what we were talking about. He was unaware that Tom and the sellers pulled out of the deal. Tom should have been the first to communicate to us they made a deal with someone else. Later we found out they went with a buyer who offered above the listing price. I guess they were making multiple contract deals at the same time.
We are not that naive to think deals don't fall through, and we know some real estate agents play these games. However, the timing and how Tom and the sellers pulled out of the deal was unethical and unprofessional. We understand that to them this is just business. However, this is also a profession dealing with people's lives.
This was a waste of our time, our agents' time, our lawyer's time, and our mortgage broker's time! We could have spent this time looking for another house.