I was in the process of getting transferred out of the state for the seventh PCS transfer in 16 years of my Naval Career. My family of 4 was looking to sell our home in the San Diego area and roll the equity of the house into purchasing a home at my next duty station, in the Jacksonville FL area. I looked to Coldwell Banker and Esaul Alatriste CAL BRE# 01336271 to help our family sell our home at top dollar.
Upon his first visit, we already had a solid plan to sell our home. We were excited to find someone that had the same vision and dedication to making this process as easy as possible. From the beginning, he was professional and swiftly responded to any questions we had, regardless of time of day. Lets just say we kept him busy. He truly represented loyalty, trust, dedication, honesty, and it even felt like he was part of the family during the beginning of the process. It was awesome to feel like our family was in good hands and that we werent just a deal or a commission check for him and Coldwell Banker. WE WERE A TEAM!
After two open houses, we received two offers and got ourselves into a contract. Things were going smoothly until the termite inspection arose and we had received the cost of the repairs. While serving in the Armed Forces, I have been trained to look at all options and ask questions in order to accomplish any mission successfully and efficiently. I decided to ask our agent Esaul if getting a second termite inspection from another termite company would be a good thing, to see if we can save some money on the repairs. His response was YES and that once the inspection was complete we could go with either company for the repairs. So, we went ahead and got a second termite inspection hoping to see if this next inspection would save us some money. Unfortunately, Esauls lack of knowledge and experience cost our family $3200.00 worth of repairs. We were then responsible to fix everything from both Termite Companies.
I reached out to the manager, James Armel, from the La Mesa office CAL BRE#: 00907424 to see if there was anything we can do in order for my family to not have to pay the extra $3200.00 worth of repairs. We asked if we could come back to the negotiation table with the buyers to see if the buyers were willing to re-negotiate and share some of the repair cost. At this time, we were within days of closing and both their answers were its too late.
For the first time during this process I felt we were no longer part of a partnership/team and felt more like just a DEAL and a commission check. We felt like they just wanted to get deal done and burden our family with this mistake without taking any responsibility. Esaul Alatristes lack of knowledge and experience in the VA Loan process, especially dealing with termite inspections, cost my family our hard-working equity. I lost trust and the integrity of this process and felt Coldwell Banker was just another mortgage firm looking to close a deal and not do what was right. An apology was never issued from the mortgage broker nor the realtor. Esaul, the realtor, has recently been promoted to Manager at the Carmel Valley office and I truly hope he has learned from this experience and can help the realtors in his office learn from this mistake. I would hate for other families, including my brothers and sisters in the Armed Forces who risk their lives every day for our beautiful country, to lose their hard-working equity from their homes.
After looking back at the deal, the negotiations, home inspections, repair request list, helping communicate to lenders, and getting us to closing on my home, I realized that loyalty, trust, and dedication should not be given just on presentation and first impression. It should be earned and there should always be reliable backup, even if it isnt your level of expertise and even if you believe your Realtor is taking care of you on all levels. Level of knowledge and questioning attitude is key for any seller or buyer. We live in a society were making a quick dollar or getting promoted is acceptable instead of truly doing the right thing for todays family.
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