• Report: #867828
Complaint Review:

Nick Naoum

  • Submitted: Thu, April 12, 2012
  • Updated: Fri, November 09, 2012

  • Reported By: Manny — Sydney Internet Australia
Nick Naoum
3956 Town Center Blvd, Orlando, Florida United States of America

Nick Naoum Only Way Realty Home purchase scam for foreign investors Orlando, Florida

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Response

*Author of original report: Nick Nabeel Naoum the rip off realtor

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Response to report

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I am a Canadian residing in Australia and recently decided to purchase a home in Orlando.  I contacted Nick Naoum of Only Way Realty who assured me he would be able to get me a foreign national loan to facilitate the purchase.  He took me to Centerline homes in Eagle Creek and soon after I signed the contract I discovered that his mortgage contacts were unable to assist me in obtaining a loan and the builder refused to refund my $20,000 US deposit even though I cancelled the contract prior to the relevant date.  To add to this the realtor is charging me $9000 for "services rendered".  As you can see from the preceding we were bamboozled by Nick and his cohorts and we want to ensure this does not happen to anyone else. 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/12/2012 06:29 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/nick-naoum/orlando-florida-32837/nick-naoum-only-way-realty-home-purchase-scam-for-foreign-investors-orlando-florida-867828. 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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#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds


AUTHOR: Orlando_realtor - (United States of America)

It is a terriably sorry state of affairs.  The situation is that in most cases as realtors we do a lot of work for clients who for one reason or another decide to not purchase a property.  This is part of the course.  I have in the past spent months working with clients, driving them to properties and then for what ever reason they decide not to purchase a property.  In those instances I do not send an invoice for payment and would have no grounds to because at no time did they go under contract for a property.

The difference in this situation is that you did go under contract for a property, and I am more than happy to provide a copy of the standard brokerage agreement which I send to all my clients.  It outlines my services and promises to you and also what the buyer is responsible for in the event of DEFAULT.  You were more than happy to make use of those services but for some reason feel that those services should be provided free of charge to you.  The reality of the situation is you defaulted through no ones fault but your own.  Had you not lied to me from the beginning I would have told you not to sign the contract and not waste your time coming to Orlando to look for a property.  In proceeding with the contract and recognizing to the seller I was your realtor you were accepting the terms and conditions of the agreement sent to you.

The reality of the situation is that you claimed to have a down payment which you confirmed when you signed the contract for purchase.  When we had discussed this numerous times you always confirmed you had this money, and all 3 lenders would have been able to qualify you for a mortgage if you had just been able to send them the infomation they required to source the funds you were using as a down payment.  Indeed 1 lender was the builders lenders, 1 lender was my lender and the 3rd was a completely different lender I found as a last resort for you.  You couldnt get qualified because you didnt want to show you had the down payment.  Unfortunately that is not my fault.  I cant make you do something and the stories you told to avoid showing that were extravagant. The reason you went from one lender to another and went through 3 lenders ultimately is because you obviously hoped you would not need to provide this infomation to one of them.  Providing this infomation was obviously a problem for you because why else would you default on a house you claimed you had wanted, had put down as you stated $20,000 in earnest money and flown all the way around the world to see.  The only reason you would have defaulted was because for some reason you did not want the lenders to know where your down payment was coming from.  Either that or you didnt have the downpayment in which case you should never have signed or been looking at purchasing a home because I had made it clear to you from the moment you went from wanting to buy a multi million dollar home with cash to wanting to buy a home for a fraction of the price with a mortgage that for foreign national buyers lenders require at least 40% down payment.  They require such a higher amount than is required by US citizens because they do not carry the indepth credit checks that would be carried out on US Citizens.

The problem is you lied to me throughout the entire process.  I dont know whether it is because you live in a fantasy land or because you wanted me to believe you were more than you actually were, and to be honest that is of no concern to me.  The only disappointment I have is that I was unable to get you into the home you wanted but unfortunately we were doomed from the start because you were not truthful with me about your financial affairs.  If you dont have the down payment or cant prove you earned the funds so they can be sourced then there is very little I can do.

As was my responsibility as your realtor I emailed the seller providing them notice that you were cancelling your contract based upon on not getting financing and for them to return your deposit.  The last time we had spoken and I even recommended to you that you seek legal advice to seek your money back and you had said you were speaking to an attorney to do this.  At no point have I ever been contacted by an attorney representing you to provide any documentation or deposition to assist you in your case against the builder, which I would have been more than happy to do, and even though you are trying to use me as a scape goat for your incompetence, I would still be willing to do this.

Unfortunately because so many of the stories you told me were lies it is hard to know what is the actual truth particularly when you made the comment to me about why you couldnt provide the lenders with where the down payment came from.

As I mentioned previously as a businessman I have never, nor will i ever subject my business or my reputation to any possible illegal activities.  Whether this is the case or not I do not know and can only go by statements you made to me, but this is the only reason I can rationalize why you never persued legal action against the SELLER as this would have meant you would have needed to show where the funds were coming from which is what you seemed to be desperately avoiding with the lenders.

Turning to the invoice for services rendered the contract which I sent you clearly states and I quote 

"7e Buyer Default:  Buyer will pay Brokers compensation immediately upon Buyer's default on any contract to acquire property."

I cannot speak to what my broker discussed with you as I was not a party to that conversation, I only know what he had said to me and given you were located in Australia, it would have cost a significant amount of money to recover what is realistically a small amount.  Indeed the contract actually called for a compensation reimbursement of 3% of the total cost of the home which would have been in excess of $12,000, but because I liked you and had built a relationship with you, is the reason I reduced the figure by in excess of $3000 which I did not have to do.

I guage my success by the countless people I have sold homes to who are extremely happy with my services and who feel I have done such a good job for them that a lot of my business is referrals from those clients.  Indeed I am more than happy and recommend that when interviewing an agent ask them to provide letters of recommendation from previous clients and I have no problems in being able to do this.

The sad aspect of this case is it is very easy for someone to sit at a computer and make extravagent claims like you have.  At all times during our relationship and after I have and had worked in your best interests and stated to you on many occassions you I would be happy to assist your attorneys in any way to recover your money.  

Moving forward there is very little I can add to other than if anyone wishes to discuss this particular set of circumstances further then feel free to contact me and I am more than willing to provide references and letters of recommendations.  Readers of this will also note that this is the only complaint against me and is via a website and not a sanctioning body, and the reason I suspect for this is that if our sanctioning body were to investigage this, then they would conduct a thorough and professional investigation which would include and not be limited to the circumstances surrounding why the buyer could not be in compliance with what all the lenders they had spoken with require.  Indeed at no time did the buyer even seek financing from their own country.  I have another client from the UK who was able to secure financing from the UK on a property in the USA so this is available.

I do wish you the very best in the future but I see from a search of the tax collectors website that although you say your talking to realtors you still have not purchased a property.  I can only assume that you are giving those realtors the same run around that you gave me in the hopes they can pull a rabbit our of their hat and do something for you that I could not.    

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#2 Author of original report

Nick Nabeel Naoum the rip off realtor

AUTHOR: Manny - (Australia)

At no point did Nick have me sign a representation agreement and when he did present me with the $9000 bill for "service rendered" I contacted the owner of the Brokerage he works for and he apologized for Nick's incompetence and said that I should ignore the invoice.  If anyone requires proof of this you can contact me via this website and I can forward all relevant emails which prove this realtor is a scam artist. 

Since my encounter with Nick I have found many realtors who are quite honest and look out for the best interest of their clients and do not try to rip them off any chance they get.  Furthermore, realtors are not supposed to charge their clients for driving them around and showing them homes; it's merely the nature of the business they are in.  Some deals go through and some don't.  Nick was trying to realise his Champagne dreams by ripping off hard working individuals. 
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#3 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Response to report

AUTHOR: Orlando_realtor - (United States of America)

This is a response to the complaint by the person in question.....

Having worked in the Real estate industry for a number of years and being originally from the UK a great deal of my business is with overseas clients.  For that very reason I work with a number of lenders who offer overseas financing to these clients and in 100% of the cases these clients have successfully been able to secure financing from these lenders.

When a client contacts you and expresses their wish to purchase a home and states they do not require funding but are an all cash buyer then the need for a lender isnt an immediate one.  The fact that this client in particular was flying from Australia to the USA which is not a short trip to view properties showed a level of seriousness for me to go above and beyond to assist.  When dealing with clients who are looking at properties costing in excess of $1million dollars and are not local, we offer a number of services.  This includes viewing the properties for them, taking pictures and videos, and submitting these to the clients in addition to providing all the HOA and tax fees and for clients who are out of town and may need property management services, providing estimates for these costs so a full picture can be seen by the buyer so that they may make an informed decision.  

In total pictures, videos and details of 11 different properties were sent to this client, this required visiting each property, who as time went on reduced his budget from just under $2million to approx 1/4 of that.  It became apparant that the client was not really in a position to be able to afford this type of home and would indeed require a mortgage.  At this time I introduced him to several lenders who we have had a 100% success rate who have been able to lend to foreign nationals.  Even at their final budget there are many fantastic homes available and we did indeed find the perfect home for him.  He proceeded to sign a contract for the home and pay an earnest money deposit at that time.  It should be noted prior to this he was also presented with a representation agreement from myself stating that once he is under contract, if he should not go through with purchasing the home after signing a contract to purchase, then he would be required to pay the lost commission.  The only event that a client is not required to pay this is if they have not been able to secure financing but have made all reasonable efforts to secure financing.

The client was set up with multiple lenders all of who were able to assist, however, a requirement is that you provide evidence to show where the funds came from for your down payment, and this client was putting down a sizeable down payment.  This practice is standard here in the USA and indeed in many other countries around the world.  This client didnt want to do this.  Each time the request was made for the proof of funds the client made a different excuse.  First of all it was a loan from his father in law, but when the lenders told him that is fine but it would need to be sourced from his father in law also and the various receipts for transfer were needed, it bacame apparant that the funds did not come from the father in law.  Indeed later became apparant that he was unable to source the money as it was money he was "not supposed to have"....whatever that means.

For this reason he defaulted on his contract.  In plenty of time I submitted to the seller that he was cancelling the contract based on not being able to obtain financing, but because he was not co-operating with providing the lenders with the standard info required, they were unable to offer a denial letter as they could not make a judgement either way and so his file was in limbo so to speak.

I notified the buyer immediately of the situation, provided recommendations, however, unfortunately because the buyer had not been truthful with me from the beginning there really was very little I could do.

As a side note for people reading this there are a number of lessons here and advice for other people wanting to purchase a home overseas.  Foreign nations can buy homes overseas the the process is very simple, however, once you get into the process and sign a contract then you have to have all your ducks in a row and be committed to the purchase.  Sales fall through everyday because inspections reveal issues with the home etc, etc.  That being said if you havent been honest with your real estate agent from the start, it makes it very hard if not impossible for us to properly assist you.

Be realistic with the price range of the home you are looking for.  Dont look at homes for $2million dollars and say you can pay cash for the home, when you need a mortgage to buy a home for $400,000.  Again it will only make you look foolish and mean you havent been truthful with your agent and so without the full picture we are unable to assist you.

The final point and this is very inportant and has become increasingly common in the last few years.  There are a large number of buyers who want to invest money from outside the country in the Florida real estate market.  In most cases this money has been legitimately earned, paid taxes on and can be sourced by the lenders, enabling buyers to buy their dream home in the sun.  Unfortunately there are other people who are trying to invest money which "they shouldnt have".  This may be because it is cash under the table which the person hasnt paid tax on in their country of origin, money from illegal activities or other such reasons.  The act of trying to purchase a property with such funds is considered money laundering.  Due to this practice being on the rise we take a zero tolerance attitude to this.  For this reason we provide all files and communications to the relevent authorities here in the USA and provide full cooperation to these departments and any support they may require with their counterparts overseas in the country of origination.  

It is important to remember if you are not serious about buying a property do not expect an agent to drive over town researching homes for you, providing video and pictures, drive you around while you are in town, assist you with getting a mortgage which you do not provide all reasonable efforts to secure, back out of the contract and expect their services to be completely free.  In most cases the fee for an agent representing the buyer is paid for in part or full by the seller.  In circumstances where a buyer backs out for no reason other than they have not provided all the info required which is standard practice, then the buyer is responsible for reimbursement of the lost commission.

I can not speak to the truth behind why this buyer backed out.  It may be he did have money which he shouldnt have had, it may be he simply didnt have any money at all and was living in a dream world of wanting a million dollar home and not being able to afford a fraction of that.  We see this all the time with buyers having champagne taste but living on a beer budget.

I hope this rebuttal is able to shed some light and for anyone who has any further question I am more than happy to discuss this situation and any others people may have come across. I would have posted a rebuttal to this earlier but was not made aware of it until another client contacted me to tell me about this and wanted further info.
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