I had the utmost pleasures dealing with the duo Donna Gallo and her partner. I came to know her when I was buying a property (let's call it property B) while trying to sell my existing townhouse (property A). I thought that if I had the same agent doing the buying and selling at the same time, I wouldn't have any headaches of having to deal with multiple real estate agents plus it would keep the real estate agent more motivated as if the selling didn't go through, there was no way that the buying would.
So the incentives are all there. In all honestly, I would say that the sellers of property B were at fault as they didn't feel like moving out to inconvenient themselves while they already had baited me to be the buyer for their house and cozily had my $5k in their lawyer's hand. I believed that Donna MAY have done the bare minimum to get them moving, but given that she earned her comission from the sellers, she probably didn't get very far.
Few years later and after much headaches dealing with Property B, I decided to sell the house. I'm fully aware of the condition of the market, my current property condition (totally renovated with brand new sidings and marble master bath, new paints in some rooms), and decided to consider the same Donna Gallo and partner for listing my property in the market. This is back in 2004 when the market was really HOT, and everybody was rushing to buy buy buy.
Right upfront I told her that I would consider her and I'd need few days to think it through. However, she's somewhat pushy and being that I was a 20 something yr old only at that time, riped for being scammed/sold, she sold me into being my listing agent for the property. Another agent that I was considering at that time was excluded from the contract. And everything went down the hill from there. Property B was listed in February of 2004, the prime time for listing properties. I didn't hear a peep from Donna or her partner for weeks after she took my listing.
My property was NOT advertised in major newspapers, etc. She only advertised it on MLS or pennysaver, and without pictures!!! Potential clients' calls were either never returned or not returned on time. Apparently this has been her way of doing business all along: take the listing, run away for weeks (to never be heard), and pressure the sellers to lower the price of the property for QUICK SALE.
If you're one of the dumb sellers and didn't do your work to investigate what's actually being done and to actually have it in writing from her, you're in for a ride just like I did. So months went by without bites in an extremely hot seller market. At the end of the contract, I hired Coldwell Bankers to sell Property B and it sold in a matter of weeks.
Then I did "another waste of time and energy" effort by reporting Donna and her partner to the Long Island Board of Realtors. Well, it was a waste of time and energy for me, but it was also a waste of time and energy for these 2 clowns because they were required to show up. Alas, the Long Island Board of Realtors were such a joke. They consist of real estate agents who were all buddy buddy with these 2. I was doomed to loose from the get go, but I really wanted to make a point. I really was naive and was had by everybody in this whole real estate scam that went on in Long Island.
I'm posting this to ensure that others who're trying to enlist Donna Gallo, and other agents of Remax1 of Lake Ronkonkoma to be aware of their scams. It's their way of doing business to ensure that they spent the least amount of money and effort on your property. They would cut their comission by 1% or so to get your listing, but you're not really saving any money because they would just let your property sits around in MLS, or advertise it once or twice on Pennysavers, conduct once or twice open houses without much advertisement to save money. They're able to cut their comp by 1% because they're doing this in bulk!!!
So don't fall into their scams. Ensure that you have everything in writing including the way they're going to market your house when, where, how. Else, you're just begging at their mercy to do the honest work for you, week and suffer until the contract expires. They will NOT return your call unless they feel like telling you to lower the price of your property (and expect this type of call every other week until you cave in to their demands).
If you're a buyer and currently dealing with them, then ensure that you don't use any services that they recommend, especially for home inspections, lawyers, movers, etc. And though you like the property, don't call them often. They want you to have the house as much as you want the property. This is a buyer's market, and I'm pretty sure that they're scrambling to find buyers. Stand on your ground, and have them call you back. Else, leave a note for the sellers and let the sellers know that their agents are not working to close the deals in the interest of both parties but herself. I've been on both ends, and this is the game that she's playing.
Ringwood, New Jersey
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