• Report: #1096523

Complaint Review: Buyer Broker Chicagoland

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  • Submitted: Sat, November 02, 2013
  • Updated: Sat, November 02, 2013

  • Reported By: P Customer — Chicago Illinois
Buyer Broker Chicagoland
2 E. Prairie Ct. Hawthorn Woods, Illinois USA

Buyer Broker Chicagoland Rick Hauser Negative Review of Services Hawthorn Woods Illinois

*Author of original report: There you go again!

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Uncoachable Client

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 I’m a first time homebuyer and I hired Rick Hauser/Buyer Broker Chicagoland on 6/26/2013. I had to fire him a month later on 7/28/2013 for performance, professionalism, attitude and other related issues. Before I hired him, I read his reviews on this site and several others. I also carefully researched his credentials and interviewed him before I decided to retain his services. At the time he was the most qualified of the agents I interviewed and he looked good on paper. I had some doubts based some ‘questionable’ behavior in the interview, but I decide to give it a try in the hopes of finding my dream home and to avoid conflicting agent interests.  This is a clear case of if it seems too good to be true, it probably is and buyer beware.

The previous customer reviews and materials he puts out there, don’t tell the whole story of Rick Hauser and his Buyer Broker Chicagoland company. Three big examples would be, he requires a non-refundable $1,000 up-front retainer (which gets credited at closing) with no refund if the relationship doesn’t work out. He actively encourages his clients to put in separate offers on two separate houses, something most other real estate professionals will actively discourage you from doing because you can end up buying two houses if they accept your offer. If you fire him/he quits, he can still collect the commission on ANY house you purchase regardless of whether or not he showed it to you for the length of the contractual agreement. This doesn’t include all of the other grief I had to deal with when I hired him; like serious errors in my offer letter(s), touring the wrong house, touring a house with a flooded basement, disrespectful emails, negative criticism of other clients and several other issues.  I could easily type well over a page of my experiences with him and most of it would be unflattering, so I just highlighted some of the biggest documented issues to save time and get my point across. I have all of this in writing (emails, texts and contracts) and I would be glad to post it as documentation against my claims. 

Bottom line… Don’t believe the hype. I wouldn’t recommend him to my family or friends, nor would I hire him again. Do yourself a favor, hire a Realtor that can conduct himself in a professional and ethical manner and just say “no” to Rick Hauser / Buyer Broker Chicagoland.
 
Search Keywords: Richard Hauser, Rick Hauser, Buyer Broker Chicagoland, Compliant, Negative Review, Buyers Agent Chicago, Exclusive Buyers Agent Chicago


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/02/2013 01:03 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Buyer-Broker-Chicagoland/Hawthorn-Woods-Illinois-60047/Buyer-Broker-Chicagoland-Rick-Hauser-Negative-Review-of-Services-Hawthorn-Woods-Illinois-1096523. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 0Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

There you go again!

AUTHOR: P Customer - ()

I had posted this review to warn other first time homebuyers of this guy and I was going to leave it at that, but his response proves my point. Is this the type of real estate ‘professional’ you want to hire and pay $1,000 premium for outbursts like this? Is this the guy that you want to trust with $200,000+? He sends long rambling,  emotional emails, disrespectful emails and when I confronted him his response was “Hey – if all of us didn’t have some emotion - we would be robots …. :)” Well some of us are adults and can keep our emotions in check.

When he means “uncoachable”  he really means ‘uncontrollable’ like put in 2 offers for different houses at the same time, or hire my attorney referral he’s a good guy (wink) or what’s another $5,000 on an asking price it’s “only $35.74 on a 15 yr mortgage”. He’s right I did the exact opposite, because I know me and it didn’t seem right to me. When other’s around you and you have concerns about some of these activities and he keeps pushing these things after multiple times of telling him no, you know something is wrong.

The $500 dollars I negotiated it myself (have proof) because this guy seemed ‘questionable’ as I said in the review (see below), I was only willing to risk $500 upfront. I thought it was worth a try, if he could deliver what he advertises it would have been worth it and he looks good on paper. I thought it was poor judgment with his questionable behavior in the interview, but I later found it’s a pattern of questionable behavior. See below on why I called it questionable.

We had met at the Starbucks in Mundelein, I have a text message confirming that (thank you Google Voice). He was late because as I found out later on he has a problem with details and facts (his response proves that). He got the Starbuck location wrong and was half an hour late, this is a Starbucks he frequents by his house and he suggested.

Anyways, I asked him a few questions, he asked me a few, then he starts into this whole I give discounts on trips to my timeshares and cabins and if you hire me you can get these discounts. I have a raffle for people who refer me yada yada. I work in a highly regulated industry and it sounded like a quid pro quo to me, that if I hire him he will give me deep discounts on his timeshares (offering me something of value in exchange for hiring him). I brushed it off and said I wasn’t interested.  Then to my astonishment he follows it up with an email acknowledging indirectly that his offer could have come across as illegal and that I could have interpreted it that way. If you have to follow-up with an email to someone you just met with what you said you can’t offer it legally, you have serious problems.

See below for the exact email, my name and email address have been redacted (everything else is the exact same).  He sends really long poorly formatted emails as you've seen from his response so this is the top half. Willing to publish the whole thing if people are intrested.

From: Rick Hauser <buyerbrokerchicagoland@gmail.com>

Date: Sat, Jun 22, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Subject: Re: nice talking to you

To: Sxxx Fxxxxxxx <fxxxxxx.sxxx@gmail.com>

Hi Sxxx - it was nice meeting you.  Sorry about the location glitch (a first for me)  - I owe you a SB gift card for your time..

I saw your eyes get wide re: week vacation gift to past clients for referrals...

Just a clarification - I can't offer that (legally) directly to each individual - as there are mandated caps in the industry regarding dollar value of gifts....  However - you can have drawings/raffles....   So I am having one for past clients who referred me since the beginning of the year  - putting their names into a hat & will have a random draw (raffle) - with drawing on 4th of July with two lucky winners (out of 6 who referred since Jan 1 currently))     I have a few timeshares & have too many weeks a year to use myself - 

I believe it is important to reward people who think of me..   Exponential referrals (people referring someone who refers someone) is my goal - and I'm on the way towards that.... (had one who referred who referred etc.)

People don't refer or  pick me for any of those reasons of course.... just that I do good work for them..

Cabin is www.bayfieldcabin.com -- which past clients can receive a discount on (though no one has taken me up on it yet..)

At 58k on two acres across from Lake Superior in a prime tourist destination - was best investment I ever made...

Is this someone you want to hire? Is this someone that you would fully trust? Hindsight is always 20/20.

As to the LIES about me asking this gay friendly thing. Regular people looking for an agent typically don't asking questions like this in the interview. Question to Rick Why would you take the business in the first place? If I kept harping on it in the interview and was so difficult why would you take me on as a client? ( I wouldn’t) Also, why would you respond with this in the same email as the quid pro quo? Saying that I was honest and logical.

You seem like a great guy who is an open & honest communicator & logical (not faked out by staging & a home is about the financials too...)  so it would be a pleasure to serve you.  You are certainly very clear about what you want - which makes things much easier...

That gay friendly quote he lied about and took out of context was actually after a series of 4 house tours in Wauconda on Saturday June 27th (have emails from him). They were having Wauconda days and there were 2 gay and l*****n couples. We were sitting at Bulldogs grill in downtown Wauconda eating burgers and I just informally asked him about the town, number of people, night life, etc.. and I asked was it a gay friendly town because of the couples. He said he didn’t know and I left it at that, then he said he had a something to the effect had gay couple years ago that hired him, ‘but they dropped off early because they were high maintenance.’ It’s only a growing number of groups and people that I came to find out Rick has disparaged, other realtors, clients, mortgage brokers and me.

It should be noted that same day (6/27) in Wauconda he showed me the flooded house at 25418 West Ivanhoe Road in Wauconda. There was a foot of water in the basement and I said we should report it, he told me that the realtor was “a b**** on the phone” and I’m not reporting it. I said it was up to him, but I would report it because it looked serious. Let’s call the realtor that listed the house to see if he reported it. In his response he neglected to mention whether or not he reported the basement. I would think that would be an honest thing to do.

As to the other LIE about touring the wrong house. This one is just a bold face lie, we did tour the wrong house and I have pictures of us inside the house and outside the house. We can call the realtor who listed the house as well or maybe the elderly seller, because the elderly owner was shocked to see us in her house and he had to call the listing agent to apologize and to pretend I was interested. The address of the house we were suppose to tour is 14 Summit Ave. East Dundee, we actually toured 18 Summit Ave. This genius forgets I have all the house listings, dates times he sent and I brought a camera to each one of the house tours. It’s a simple Google street view search to see this is not the same house.

He can spin his contract however he wants the fact of the matter is he can collect the commission on ANY house you purchase for the contractual agreement if you fire him. I had a lawyer review it before I fired him.

My agreement with him lapsed on November 1st, so I posted this review and many others on November 2nd; that’s why it’s 4 months after the fact.

2 last questions for Rick directly.

1)      Can I still get those discounts on your cabin? Because I’ve been thinking of you and like you said in the email above “I believe it is important to reward people who think of me.”

2)      Answer these issues directly.

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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Uncoachable Client

AUTHOR: rhauser - ()

This is the most uncoachable client I’ve ever had.  Whatever I recommended – he did the opposite, against all logic.  I’ve never fired a client in ten years in the business but told him that I would have to fire him he continued some of his bizarre behaviors and actions to include being verbally abusive. Thankfully - he did so so that I did not have to.

Regarding:  questionable’ behavior in the interview

I'm guessing that he is referring to the fact that I told him I could not give an answer to his question "Is Wauconda gay friendly?" because it would violate fair housing laws - but he continued to press me on that question repeatedly - and I had to keep stating that I could not answer that for him. 

Regarding:  "he requires a non-refundable $1,000 up-front retainer (which gets credited at closing) with no refund if the relationship doesn’t work out."

Firstly,  I made his retainer just $500 – up front - not my typical $1,000 as he stated that he was tight for money. Secondly, he never asked for his $500 back. Thirdly, I made it clear to him that there can be a refund of all or part of it if a relationship does not work out depending on time expended. 

I made this very clear to him in an e-mail.

If my retainer gets used up from time expended, the retainer is kept.  I don’t ask for any additional retainer during the process – just the initial good faith retainer from a client.

My retainer is fully credited back to a client in the commission calculations for closing.

I once had a client lose their job and they stopped looking until they received another one – and I honored their original retainer almost a year later.  I  do that for anyone. 

I showed this person just under 50 homes in about a month, and engaged in negotiation on two different homes, neither of which he purchased - so the retainer was more than used up (if he had requested it back - which he didn't.)   

Regarding:  He actively encourages his clients to put in separate offers on two separate houses, something most other real estate professionals will actively discourage you from doing because you can end up buying two houses if they accept your offer.

Comment:  I only encourage a client to do that if a situation arises where it may be to their benefit. Certainly not all clients.  I use this technique occasionally in negotiation, and there is zero risk of having offers accepted on two houses with the way the offers are done.  I made that very clear. It puts the buyer in a position of power, and can help them get a better price because the seller knows that they aren’t the only home that is being considered.  The technique is taught by many expert negotiation curriculums in Real Estate – including the Certified Negotiation Expert course / designation, which I have.  (I am also a Certified Negotiation Consultant)

I informed him that if he would be more comfortable making one offer at a time - we could do that, and that is what he opted to do.  We only made one offer at a time.

Thus - it is a bit baffling that he seems to be irritated by it (and months after he terminated the relationship.)

On his first offer – I told him to put in his offer early, since it was my assessment that the home would likely soon get an offer based on a few things/findings – but he procrastinated for many days. 

By the time he decided to make an offer – I informed him that the listing agent stated that it was a multiple offer situation as an offer had just come in.  He accused the listing agent of lying about that.  I told him that they typically don’t lie about such things.  He didn't believe me.

The listing agent stated she needed a response by a certain time or they were going to go with the other offer as she had been waiting some time for my client to make a decision.  My client stated that he felt he was being “pressured” by the listing agent because they made a deadline for submitting his highest and best - and I informed him that it is common for deadlines to be set – especially when another side is procrastinating - as they wanted to make forward progress. I told him to not take it personally or make assumptions.

I recommended a strategy that would have enabled him to win the deal by $1,000, without exceeding a pre-determined cap that he would set.  He had already reviewed my CMA etc.   I informed him that the strategy is more useful than “highest and best” - as that can be a guess - which may make the buyer pay more than he needs to.

He didn’t take that advice, and instead – opted to wait past their deadline, because he continued to believe "they are pressuring me" and "they are lying.”   He decided to not meet their deadline  - and a few hours later, I informed him that the agent told me they had accepted the other offer and that he had no chance at it anymore. Then he still thought they were lying.   The next day - I told him that it went contingent in the system (listing agents have up to 72 hours to mark as under contract).  I informed him that if he had listened to me – he would have had a chance at it. 

This was the type of thing I had to deal with throughout my relationship with him.  I’d coach him what to do – then he would do the opposite – and then he would cast blame, refusing to take personal responsibility for his own actions. 

Regarding:  "If you fire him/he quits, he can still collect the commission on AY (sic) house you purchase regardless of whether or not he showed it to you for the length of the contractual agreement."

Comment:  Another false statement.  My agreement with him specifically stated:

Provided that Client does not close/settle upon the purchase of property within the term of this agreement , or any renewal thereof, then the following shall apply: If within one year after the termination of this Agreement, Client enters into a contract or any agreement or any instrument for any form of ownership or right  or interest in  any  property within the Market Area which was shown to the Client, Client shall owe Broker the agreed upon flat rate commission per paragraph 9

Similar language is in the standard buyer agency agreements put out by the Illinois Assn of realtors as well.  It’s intent is to protect agents from being “used” by dishonest clients.  It only applies to homes that were shown to a client during the term of the relationship.

Regarding:   This doesn’t include all of the other grief I had to deal with when I hired him; like serious errors in my offer letter(s), touring the wrong house, touring a house with a flooded basement.

Comment:   When he accused me of having an error in the offer letter - I e-mailed him:  "Note that I leave things like closing date, price and a few other things blank so that we can discuss them for you to fill in when you are ready.  Please do not consider them to be an error ... And he replied back -- That's fine. I didn't know. I'm starting from my latest emails and working forward.

We never toured a “wrong house” .

Per the flooded basement comment  - I showed him a bank owned property that he wanted to see, and it happened to have a flooded basement.  I had warned him that foreclosures can have many serious issues and we will likely see quite a few of them when touring it.  I simply obeyed his desire to tour the home. 

In summary, this (thankfully short term) client was not honest or coachable.  I've never had a negative review in over ten years of representing home buyers exclusively, and I've had many extremely satisfied clients over the years, and many repeat clients and referrals from past clients. I routinely get purchase prices that are under appraised prices for clients, and in ten years - I've never had a failed appraisal for a client - with 100% of them reaching the closing table post contract signing.   I wish this person the best of luck - and hope he finds a home he likes with some other agent.  

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