NEVER TRUST ANYONE WHO LIES. I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE.
Always listen to the little voice inside you. While Randy Sumbles bragged about his marketing ability, his reputation for selling homes quickly-- usually in thirty days-- the little voice inside me was ringing warning bells---loud and clear----but I ignored them; I let my dwindling savings account drive me to desperation.
Before I knew it, my fear of losing everything, over-powered my common sense, and I signed my name to the necessary paperwork. For the next six months, my home’s listing would be in the hands of The Sumbles Team at Keller Williams Realtors. I could only hope that, for the very first time, my inner voice was wrong, that it had over-reacted.
Brooke, an agent with The Sumbles Team, was assigned to sell my house. Brooke was young, attractive, capable, and appeared energetic and motivated. I liked Brooke and never once questioned her professional ability or her honesty. I wish I could have said the same about her boss.
The only time I heard from Randy was through his massive, impersonal, emails which contained nothing more than percentages/statistics about Little Rock’s Real Estate Market. Occasionally, he shared his “numbers”, which included how many times my house was “checked out” online, how many potential buyers attended open houses, and how many times other agents showed my house to potential buyers.
A few times….always through emails… I asked Randy why there were no offers on my house. His reply was always the same: "You need to lower the price."
So, I lowered the price…..lower and lower….month after month. After too-many months, I phoned Randy and asked to meet with him in person. I’d been thinking of alternatives to steadily lowering my selling price.
I wanted Randy to consider new and more- successful marketing strategies. After all, most of my career had focused on marketing, promotion, development, and indirect sales. I also needed to know why my requests for a simple FOR SALE sign on Reservoir Road, with an arrow pointing down my street, continued to be ignored.
After overcoming Randy’s insistence that I share my thoughts and ideas through texts or emails, he finally agreed to a face to face meeting. Randy said he was busy for the rest of the week, that his first opening would be the following Monday at 1 pm. I agreed and made a note of the day and time on my calendar.
The day of our meeting, I arrived at his office a few minutes before 1 pm, announced myself to the receptionist, and sat down. Anticipating my meeting, I had turned off my cell phone before leaving my car and now, waiting to talk with Randy, I noted a new voice mail and text message from Brooke.
Before I could respond, a man walked over, introduced himself, and asked me to wait in the conference room…that Randy would be with me shortly. When Randy stepped through the door of the conference room he appeared nervous and a little irritated.
I shared my thoughts, my marketing ideas, and mentioned my repeated requests for a FOR SALE Sign on Reservoir Road. Such a sign on a highly-traveled road could attract potential buyers to my house.
Randy, quiet and unresponsive, took a few notes, agreed to place a sign on Reservoir Road, then…quickly excused himself….saying he had another meeting.
When I got in my car, I listened to Brooke's voice message and read her text. It seems that Randy had contacted her--earlier that morning--saying he’d been detained, was out of town, and wouldn’t be back to Little Rock in time for our scheduled meeting. He advised Brooke to reschedule…. for later in the week.
By showing-up for the meeting, as planned, I’d caught Randy completely off-guard; he certainly wasn't out-of-town! There was no hidingthe fact that Randy had lied. Even worse, he’d involved Brooke in his deception. Yes, timing is everything.
So… Randy was a liar and not to be trusted. I didn’t confront Randy but I did speak with Brooke. She knew the truth. She knew Randy had "used" her to convey his lie. Clearly... to Randy Sumbles...I am "just a number". He has no respect for me as a person or as a client. Thank goodness my inner voice doesn't say: I told you so.
When I finally received an offer on my house, Randy telephoned me to take the offer... not wait around for a better offer. Pushed beyond my limit, already far beyond my “bottom line”…I did accept the offer. I was also forced to accept an early closing date, a date that suited the buyers and their timeline, not mine.
Since my new house couldn’t close until five days later, I had no choice but pay rent to the new buyers. I had no choice but stay in my former home while Movers rushed around to pack-me-up.... to ready-me for the move-out.
Every day of my five “rental” days, was another rain storm. Nothing was easy and nothing seemed to work in my favor but…on February 28, I signed the papers on my Hot Springs Village Home in Little Rock…with a Little Rock Attorney. Immediately, I drove to my new home in Hot Springs Village to meet the movers, impatiently waiting to unpack my many belongings, in the middle of yet, another rain storm.
When the Movers finished, they left. It was almost dark. As for me, I wasn't finished. I had to drive back to my former home in Little Rock for a final “walk-through”.
After closing on my new home and racing to meet the movers in Hot Springs Village, there hadn't been even one extra minute to check my former home’s built-in-drawers, closets, multiple shelves, or the garage; to check walls, floors, ceilings--- inside or outside---for items the movers may have overlooked or left-behind. As I drove through the rain in the growing darkness, I kept remembering more and more items, both large and small, that might not have been seen or discovered by the packers/movers.
Because of the day's endless difficulties and mounting stress, I'd placed my sleeping bag, flash light, and a few personal items in my trunk so I could spend my final night in my former house. The weather was growing worse, darkness had taken over and I felt too tired and sickly to drive back to Hot Springs Village. After all, I’d paid my rent in advance. I was a paid-in-full rentor who could enjoy a final night in my former house until 8 a.m. the next morning, March 1, 2018.
Imagine my shock to see my former house….flooded with light. The Plantation Shutters were open across the front, lights were on in every room, and there was furniture everywhere! What?!!?
Legally, the new owners could not enter the house or take possession until the next day at 8 a.m.!!!!!! My phone had no charge and, as I beat on the door, I grew more and more angry. I couldn’t call Brooke, my Realtor...Randy Sumbles...or the Police!!!!
No one came to the door. All alone…. not knowing who or what was on the other side of the door….I knew better than to use my spare key.
I had no choice but turn around and drive back to Hot Springs Village, in the blackness, in a thunder storm,.... knowing for sure there were items belonging to me that were still in my former home.
The next day I emailed Randy Sumbles. He said it was true that the new owners shouldn’t have moved in before the allotted time but….since he wasn’t responsible for the buyers….he could only work with their realtor, an agent with Charlotte John Realty. It seems the new owners, the Hambys, were reluctant to “give up” my framed mirror, hanging on a hook in the guest bathroom.
Randy said they might reconsider but for now, they were out of the town. And, they wouldn’t respond when asked about anything else I may or may not have left in the house.
Weeks later, Randy sent an email that the buyers had reluctantly agreed to “hand over” the mirror. Randy said someone in his agency would pick-up the mirror and bring it to the office. When the mirror arrived at his office, he would notify me so I could drive to Little Rock from Hot Springs Village...to get it.
PS---I filed a Consumer Complaint with the Attorney General’s Office after Arkansas’s Board of Realtors refused to return my phone messages. I’ve also been advised of other possibilities.
This isn't the end of my story. Most people know I won’t give-up or give-in.....without a fight.