My name is Linda. On July 14th, 2003 I purchased a home that was represented and sold through Keller Williams Realty at 34866 US Highway 19 North, Palm Harbor, FL 34684, phone # (727) 787-6995. This home was purchased with a home warranty through American Home Shield Home Warranty that was provided by and through this realtor's office. I want you to know that there are two very crooked real estate agents working for Keller Williams Realty, Mea Basso who works a the seminole office , 13800 Park Blvd. Seminole, FL 33776 (727) 398-9900 and Kathy Rodriguez who works out of the palm harbor office listed above, she was the seller's agent and Mea Basso was my agent. Both of these agents should never be allowed to sell a home in Florida again.
As soon as I took ownership of this house July 14th, 2003, I experienced a multitude of problems with this house, both that should be covered under the home warranty policy, as well as the problems that were supposed to be fixed / corrected before the closing that were in the contract itself.
For nearly a year now I have made several attempts to resolve these issues through the agent that represented me, Mea Basso, as well as the contacting American Home Shield Warranty 1-800-776-4663. I have experienced a genuine Runaround with both American Home Shield Warranty and Keller Williams Realty in Palm Harbor. My agent Mea Basso has decided not to be of any help and agrees with the seller's agent Kathy Rodriguez. Mea Basso actually was very nasty to me recently and told me that she refused to help me with this situation. Until she said that, she refused to talk to me about the problems and would only speak to my daughter who doesn't even own the house. I would like to add that after the home inspection I told my agent Mea Basso that under no circumstances did I want to buy this home; a home with this many problems, and with sellers who were proven to have lied on the sellers disclosure because if they lied about all the important things, (which I have highlighted for you and added notes,) then I would be at risk to find a multitude of other things wrong and have to deal with them. Then I was intimidated and threatened with a lawsuit by both the seller's agent, Kathy Rodriguez, and my agent Mea Basso backed her up 100%. I believe that the dynamics of this particular sale, were not only unprofessional, but unethical and possibly illegal.
I not only feel cheated through this home purchase but now I am being nickled and dimed to death repairing and replacing things that should have already been done or that should be covered under the home warranty. I was ignorant to the process of buying a home and I truly believed I was going to lose everything I owned because the agents and sellers were going to sue me and take everything from me. I signed a paper with my agent stating :
Florida law requires that real estate licensees operating as single agents disclose to buyers and sellers their duties. As a single agent Mea Basso/ Keller Williams Gulf Coast and its associates owe to you the following duties:
1.dealing honestly and fairly
6.accounting for all funds
7.skill, care and diligence in the transaction
8.presenting all offers and counter offers in a timely manner
9. disclosing all knows facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable. Signed 5/15/2003.
I would like to add that #'s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 were not upheld by both my agent and the seller's agent.
I contacted Mark Olesh, Kathy Rodriguez's Team Lead at Keller Williams's office in Palm Harbor and he deliberately avoided my daughter and I at the appointment that he made with me. We showed but her never did. Dusty, who is Mea's team lead came to the house and promised to resolve these issues and seemed to agree with us, but later on refused to talk to us, and Mea said she and her team lead were offended when they asked me what I would like done about the situation. I stated that I just wanted what I was supposed to receive in the contract, she was very nasty and then never talked to me again.
Below are some of the issues I will attempt to outline.
The Attic Insulation. The electric bill for this house during the summer months was between $200-$300 per month. During the viewing of this home, the sellers and their agent said that the electric bill was never higher that $130 during the summer. This is one small example of deception in the beginning. The home inspector told us there was insulation in the attic, but after looking ourselves there is none. By the way, Mea Basso said she was to pick the home inspector, that it was her responsibility and that we could not have an inspector of our choice, that is the way it worked. Turns out the inspectors were her best friends just starting out their business and intentionally left things out so we would buy the house.
The Electric Wiring. The electric wiring was to be redone by a licensed electrician before closing on the house and a receipt be provided as evidence. The circuit breaker box was a fire hazard as well as the aluminum electrical wiring. The seller's provided a receipt. Kathy Rodriguez, the seller's agent would not allow me to call and verify any receipts provided for the list of things that needed fixing during the closing on this home. She was rushing the whole thing and afterward she disappeared before everyone else got out of the building. After closing I checked out the receipt to find that one of the seller's friends did the electric, and was not a licensed electrician. Some outlets are still not grounded and there is still no main breaker in the circuit breaker box. During the final walkthrough Mea Basso told me that she saw the main breaker and pointed to something in the breaker box. There was no main breaker, she lied just so I would go to the closing and she could get her commission. As of 06/23/2004 I had Borrell Electric come out and re-wire two wires that were not only cut and disconnected in the attic, but they were still plugged into the circuit breaker box with bare, hot wires up in the attic. The electrician told us that someone had intentionally gone up into the attic and severed the wires and left them up there. This was a fire hazard and to think that there is an infant living in that house. I was appauled.
For your information and possibly your concern, within the past year three houses in this subdivision have burned down due to the same electrical issues we have in this house. Some wires are only producing 3-8 volts of power instead of the 120 they are supposed to have, and many outlets do not work.
The A/C Ducting. The A/C is not producing much air in four of the rooms. The American Home Shield Home Warranty has avoided fixing the situation since I purchased the home. It took from July to September to get Shade's A/C to come out and look at the ducting and also to fix two broken run caps in the A/C unit. Shade's A/C told us that the ducting needed replacing, but that their company did not provide that particular service. The A/C man continued to tell us that the ducting was done incorrectly; leaking cold air into the attic and garage areas, and that some of the ducting is extremely old. The warranty company refuses to cover the ducting. In the warranty book it stated that indeed it does cover the ducting. Then American Home Shield Home Warranty sent another company out recently, called Air Zone on 11/20/2003. This A/C man said to me with a straight face that air was coming out of the A/C vents strong, that the A/C was fine, and that there was nothing at all wrong with it. He seemed to have this opinion about our A/C before he even looked at it. This man did not ever take out a thermometer gage to test the air coming out of the vents. He never checked anything with a volt meter, or any instrument usually used when trying to diagnose a problem with an air conditioning system. He never looked at the handler, thermostat, or the unit itself, he only looked in the attic, and felt the A/C vents with his hand. When he crawled in the attic he was crawling over and crushing the ducting that is up there, and he took a very quick look and said that there were no leaks in the ducting. He then went out to his truck and with the window rolled halfway down made a phone call. My daughter and I went outside and heard him say on the phone They're not buying it, what do I do?? What do I do??!
This is the same day I had an appointment later that afternoon with Kathy Rodriguez's team lead Mark Olesh. I wanted to explain my dilemma with the purchase of this home, and his agent, Kathy Rodriguez. When I made this appointment I refused to discuss what and who my complaint was about over the phone. I wanted to discuss the problem in person; this is what made me comfortable. Mark did not show for his appointment with me and later called and said that he knows I am having problems with the warranty people. He refused to see me in person, and told me that I could go ahead and try to go above his head, but that it was his broker that sent him to me, and that his supervisor is not interested in dealing with me. I find it rather convenient that the same day my appointment was set with Mark Olesh, all of a sudden American Home Shield Home Warranty sends out Air Zone, after months of trying to get somewhere with them, and the A/C guy tells me there is nothing wrong with my A/C. Then the mysterious phone call and Mark Olesh tells me himself that he knows I am having problems with the warranty company. I never told him what my appointment with him was about?
The Side Light. Before closing the wood sidelight with a doggie door was to be replaced with a glass sidelight that I was suppose to purchase, and the owner was to install it; reason being, there was a piece of wood with a doggie door installed where the sidelight was supposed to be. I had my agent Mea Basso, call Kathy Rodriguez the seller's agent, and ask for the dimensions of the sidelight so I could purchase the glass sidelight. Kathy said that the seller's had already replaced it for me. This was also a lie. My agent and I went to the house for the final walkthrough, (or so we believed) to find the seller's still living in the house, and the sidelight not replaced. They did not put the glass sidelight in for me and before closing replaced it with piece of wood that does not even fit properly. I was told by their agent Kathy Rodriguez that if I did not like how they fixed things and did not show up to the closing that I would be sued. Not only were we threatened with a lawsuit we were thrown out of the house by the sellers and told that I wasn't allowed to do a final walkthrough with an inspector. The neighbor later told me that the sellers had no idea why we were there because their agent never told them we were coming. Their agent Kathy Rodriguez also told us that they had already moved out of the home. These are other examples of Kathy's deception and threatening sales tactics.
The Microwave Oven. The home was supposed to come with certain amenities, garbage disposal, vertical blinds, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave oven, track lighting and a large utility sink in the garage. After closing Kathy Rodriguez had a garbage disposal installed, because the home did not have one. However, she was of no help when the previous owners came into the house the day of closing and took all the vertical blinds out of the bedrooms, they took the microwave oven, the tracked lighting lights but they left the rails for it on the ceiling. She gave my agent a false forwarding address that does not even exist and told us that we could take them to small claims court if we wanted but that she has no idea how to contact them. The sink in the garage was disconnected and the accessories (i.e. faucet, plumbing and faucet handles) were missing.
The Square Footage. According to the MLS listing I paid $57.83 per square foot for this home. I was sold a home that was advertised and which I believed was 1468 heated/cooled square feet. After measuring all rooms, I soon realized that I was short 430 square feet, 430 x 57.83 =$24,866.90. I should have only paid $60,027.54. This is another example of the lies and deceit this agent has coerced me to deal with. Again, every time I wanted to take the loss of my deposit and inspection, and just forget the whole deal, she threatened me with a lawsuit, and the loss of my other home and even property I own outside the USA.
The Roof. The inspectors found that the seller's lied on their seller's disclosure about many things, but most importantly the roof. The roof is at the end of its life and needs replacing very soon. It does not provide a weather tight situation, and the whirly birds are non-functional. The seller's were to replace the roof before closing. After the seller's got a couple of estimates for replacement of the roof, they changed their mind, but offered to give us $2000 towards the new roof at closing. At this point I was not going to buy this home. The estimates were around $4000 to replace the roof, and that is with the cheapest materials, and I did not want to buy a home with all these other things that needed repairing along with a bad roof that was leaking in four places. Kathy this time told me that not only would she sue me, but the seller's were going to sue me and I could lose everything I own, including my home in Largo and my property in Costa Rica. Kathy was very mean and nasty with her tone and very intimidating towards me and my agent. Once again I felt very trapped in this situation and very concerned. The $2000 for the roof soon became $1000, again they changed their minds, because I would not let the seller's stay in the house rent free for a month after closing. Kathy suggested I let them stay an extra month, and when I offered to rent it to them for that month Kathy told me that now they would only pay $1000 towards the roof because I was such a God awful person. I would like to add that the seller's chose the closing date themselves, and my broker had to extend the closing for two weeks, so they had an extra two weeks in that house, but according to the neighbors Kathy had encouraged them to sue us for not closing on the day they selected, and then encouraged them to ask for an extra month. When we offered to rent she told them to demand more money for the house for fixing the things that they actually did not fix. They threatened to sue us quite a bit throughout the process of buying this home.
The Pool. When I first looked at this home the pool was in excellent condition. When I moved into the home the pool was black with an algae layer on top with tad poles and roaches living in it. I have never been able to get that pool in shape, and I have experience taking care of pools. The pump was a spa pump and not sufficient to clean the pool, I was forced to remove the pool.
TheRepairs. The toilet tanks in both bathrooms were to be repaired because they wobbled. The hall bathroom's toilet had a handle that leaked that needed repairing. The hall bathtub shower needed a whole wall replaced due to water squishing and tiles falling off. Again, after closing and checking into the receipts provided, the seller's had one of their friends do the work, and the grout in the shower is already cracking, the toilet handle was never fixed and that toilet still leaks all over the floor if used. This particular toilet also has caused water damage and the tiles on the wall have fallen off, and mildew has consumed the wall. The toilet tanks in both bathrooms are still not secure. The veggie sprayer in the kitchen was to be fixed. It still stays in the on position at all times. The faucet in the kitchen sink only produces hot water, and has very little, to no pressure on the cold setting, never fixed. The electric was not fixed properly, the bathtub still leaks and the accessories (faucet handles, drain and shower switch) were never replaced.
The Windows. The home inspector found no problems with the windows, other than a small crack in one of them that was replaced before closing. After closing when I opened a window it shattered. When I examined the windows I found that all the windows throughout the entire house were screwed shut. I unscrewed them to find that they are all broken and do not close unless they are screwed shut. Now I cannot open any of these windows and have to run the air, which does not work properly, at all times until I can replace them. It costs a lot of money to replace a house full of windows. Not to mention the out of pocket expenses I have incurred purchasing blinds for the bedrooms which were taken by the sellers the day of closing, and that I will incur paying for the roof and the A/C ducting and insulation.
Last, I want to express my disappointment, and dissatisfaction with the purchase of this home. I am a single woman; I live alone and have never had to purchase a home by myself before. What I own was left to me from my husband. I was pressured into buying this home; I just wanted to do something nice for my daughter and help her buy renting her this home. This purchase was under duress, in fear of losing everything I have. Both agents cheated me out of everything that I was to receive from this home. I am battling with repairing everything out of pocket when it was in the contract and was supposed to be taken care of. Things were taken from the home that were selling points. When I moved into the home it appeared intentionally trashed, dirt smeared into the carpet and the walls, someone had urinated on the walls and carpet as well, the bathrooms smelled like urine due to the leaks, there were thick blankets of dirt and dust on every surface. There was a hole in the ceiling above the stove 15 inches in diameter, and another hole behind the stove the size of a soccer ball. Under the wallpaper in the kitchen was blood spatters from the floor to the ceiling and bloody fingerprints, and also in the dining room under the wallpaper was black mold which caused my infant grandson sinus problems until we located the mold and took care of it. It cost me almost $200 to have the carpets cleaned, and over $300 to clean and repaint the walls and ceilings. I paid for square footage I do not have, and the things that were repaired were done so by friends of the seller's that were not licensed and the jobs were poorly done. It seems like every week there is something else to deal with. The pool has never functioned properly. I feel that if these agents did this to me, then there has to be many more buyers out there that they will take advantage of, deceive and manipulate the situation to their advantage. This home warranty is a complete scam, I did not buy this house as is. I was promised that everything that the seller's did not repair would be covered in the warranty, and not to worry about it. That was supposed to be the reason I was not allowed to have the home re-inspected, because it conflicted with the interest of the warranty. I have only touched on the major things that I am concerned with, as with any complaint there are lots of little things that are in addition to these issues. I hope that I have recourse in this situation and that you can provide me with an answer to these problems.
I apologize for the length of this complaint and for what may appear to be trivial concerns. I am just exercising my right to resolve this matter as quickly and completely as possible. I have been informed that this is very much a consumer's offence against me.