Don’t Let Foxtons Real Estate In The Hen House

Real-estate mega lister Foxtons prides itself on only charging 3% instead of the standard 6%.

After having his listing mangled, several closings fubar bungled, not to mention his blinds broken and toilet not flushed during showings, Brian learned where the savings of those three percentage points goes towards: a buncha uncaring, unresponsive, unprofessional jerkfaces who have no clue what they’re doing.

Read his tale of woe, after the jump..

“I wanted to share my terrible experience with Foxton’s Real Estate of New Jersey. Last year, I put my house in Beachwood, New Jersey up for sale with them. While they try to talk you into a six-month listing, I only agreed to sign for four months, and am I glad!

The nightmare began with their online department. Foxton’s claims they are better, because of the quality of their online service. When my home first appeared online, the floor plan was completely wrong and they indicated it had a “shared driveway” with a neighboring home. I called them three times to correct this, as I was competing with two similar houses in my neighborhood, both of which had correct listings. Each time, I was told someone would get back to me. A week and a half later, someone finally did. However, they only corrected one of three major things that were wrong. I called back, another week went by, etc. My house was listed a month with them before the details were right.

In this month, they showed one couple through the home. This couple ended up making an offer on one of the listings that was correct. Every time I called to speak to my listing agent Tim Kelly, my calls went days without being returned. The 800 number took my message promising action, but to no avail.

Two months into the listing, they called me with an offer; and the buyer and I agreed on a figure. My contract required that there was no contingency on the sale of her home, as I had already purchased my next one and did not want to deal with someone who lost his or her deal at the last minute. As requested, the agreement the client signed did not contain this contingency. At the eleventh hour, the client (whose own deal to sell her home through Foxton’s apparently fell through) escaped the deal using the home inspection clause. One of the things sited was a non-working water heater (this was brand new and was switched off, because I was not living there. All the home inspector had to do was turn it on!) Incidentally, this same home was inspected two months later after I listed with someone else and came back with no issues! As this deal was falling apart, I head nothing from my agent after numerous calls and my deal just went away.

Near the end of the third month, I heard from the agent “out of the blue” with an offer I thought was very acceptable. We agreed on a price with the client and I asked the agent to forward the paperwork. Two weeks went by and I heard nothing. I guess that deal died, but I was never told anything else about it after numerous inquiries and being shoved from department to department on the 800 number. How does a deal just disappear after the price is agreed upon without further word to the seller?

Near the end of the listing, after desperation, I pressured them to hold an open house. At the completion of this open house, I got a call from two reps whom I had never met, saying we needed to get someone in to clean the carpet. This, by the way, was the same carpet I had professionally cleaned two weeks earlier in preparation for the occasion. While the house was in their care and they were show it, they permitted someone who had stepped in grease to track it all through my house, and then they had the nerve to tell me I needed to get someone in to clean the carpets?

This is not to mention the condition of the house in subsequent showings. I found lights on and doors wide open. Someone used the toilet and failed to flush it. They also broke my window blinds and garage door handle.

Another tremendous irony is that I (and the other real estate agents) had to call them numerous times to remove their lock-box up to a week before my deal closed with the new agent.

I would avoid Foxtons; they are a major nightmare. After my four-month listing expired, I signed with another agent and had a contract in two weeks. The house sold close to my asking price and the closing was a breeze.

Do not deal with Foxtons if you are serious about buy or selling a home!

Brian M. of NJ”

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.