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Offline BristolUK

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House sale goes bad - a warning
« on: June 07, 2012, 10:37:53 PM »
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In hindsight, Naomi Bannister says there were warning signs swirling around the people who bought her house in late April.

But she and her husband Jordan were happy to sell quickly and trusted the buyers at their word. The Bannisters moved out of their Moncton home and relocated to Ontario, the buyers moved in and all that was left was to finalize the sale.

Five weeks later, the supposed 'buyers' are moving out, no deal was ever signed and the Bannisters are still trying to sell their house. Naomi says they were supposed to receive $229,000 for their house on Pebble Creek Way, off Ryan Street, but instead they received $915.

"My husband and I are living in my childhood bedroom at my parents' place in Simcoe, Ontario," says Naomi, adding all their possessions are in storage.

After discovering the tenants didn't have the financing to buy their house, Naomi and Jordan demanded they vacate the property. It was a fight that lasted several weeks, but the buyers were supposed to be out by yesterday afternoon, ending an ordeal that cost the Bannisters thousands of dollars in moving and storage expenses and endless headaches.

She says they've considered going after the couple in small claims court to recoup some losses, but have decided it's probably not worth it.

"There's not much you can do without continuing the nightmare," she says.

The young couple had lived in the house for two years when they decided to sell because of a work opportunity in Tennessee. They didn't use a realtor, advertising it as a private sale.

They received a call in late April from a woman interested in seeing the house and she showed up for a look on a Friday. Naomi says the woman was missing her two front teeth, which she found odd for someone about to buy a $229,000 house, but she explained she works with the elderly and a patient hit her in the mouth a few days earlier.

A second strange thing was that the woman's husband sat in their vehicle while she looked at the house. The woman claimed he was tired and trusted her to make a decision on the house.

She looked around, said the place was perfect and wanted to move in on Monday because they needed a place right away. Naomi says she and her husband checked with their lawyer for advice and they were told it sounded unusual, but "crazier things have happened."

The buyer provided them with information on her lawyer and the company financing them. She also wrote a cheque for $3,000 as a holding fee and a month's rent. The sale would be finalized during the next month.

Naomi and Jordan packed up, put their belongings in storage and moved to Ontario, awaiting their next move to the U.S.

Then the cheque bounced. The bank told them they couldn't cash it but couldn't say why.

They spoke to the woman again and she claimed she had money in the bank that was on a temporary hold and showed them statements to prove it. A purchase agreement was signed and the woman wrote them another cheque which later bounced.

The young couple made calls to find out the buyers had no lawyer and didn't have the financing to buy their house. They checked with the woman's employer, where she had her teeth knocked out and they found out she had not worked there in a year.

Naomi went on Facebook and asked if anyone knew this woman who bought their house. One person online asked if the woman she named was missing two teeth.

"She didn't pull the 'I'm going to buy your house scam, did she?'" the person asked Naomi. "She moves every three months and doesn't have enough money to buy a loaf of bread."


Naomi says she can't understand the motivation.

"Who in their right mind does all this to live in a house for a few months?" she asks.

At this point they immediately started making efforts to have the couple vacate their house, though it was more difficult with them in Ontario. Jordan's father and a police officer visited and the officer told them they could be charged if police find they bought the house fraudulently.

Naomi says the family resisted moving out and claimed the Bannisters were harassing her but finally agreed to leave before they were forcibly evicted. A moving truck showed up Tuesday and they were supposed to be gone by yesterday afternoon.

Naomi says she feels there might be a mental health issue at play here that led to some of the behaviour. She says they have decided not to make a formal complaint to the RCMP.

"My husband and I are not vindictive, angry people," she says. "We just want this to end."

Naomi wants other people to avoid the mistakes she and her husband made when selling their house.

"Don't make hasty decisions," she warns. "Make sure you verify all the information they give you."

In the aftermath of all this, she said the best advice she received was from a realtor.

"The deal is never done until the money is in your pocket. Don't pack up and move out until then."

Easy to criticise but it doesn't sound like their lawyer warned them off.


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Offline willie c wuddle

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Re: House sale goes bad - a warning
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 11:51:51 PM »
There are two sides to every story. Deep down I think I have to take Naomi's side on this one. I just think it's too bad we all live in desperate times. She may have been desperate to move on to greener pastures and rushed things through, without fully using her noggin. Somebody else may also have been desperate for a home ans saw an opportunity to get one. Possibly everybody meant well. I wish well meaning people would be more careful. I agree with the idea of being careful of selling expensive houses to people with front teeth missing. The tooth ferry only gives about five bucks for a whole mouth full of teeth, and those are the ones without cavities. I hope things work out well for everybody.

Just for the record I would probably have made the same mistake.
 If yoo can brrrrew scottish whiskey in yourrr bagpipes, then yourr're a Plaidneck, laddie. - Jeff Scotsworthy     

Offline BristolUK

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Re: House sale goes bad - a warning
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 12:00:51 AM »
If it's happened as often as the FB person says, we might have heard of it before now.

But now we know.
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http://monctonia-times.blogspot.com/