HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (July 2, 2014) — Moving boxes fill Randy DeBoise and Gayle Lindsay’s Hudsonville home. They’re moving to Florida and say they’ve been trying to sell their waterfront property for 9 months.
So last September, they hired Howie Boeve, a Realtor.
Gayle signed a 12-month contract with him to have the home listed on the multiple listing service (MLS).
“We stopped trusting him after a short period of time,” DeBoise said.
Boeve is based in Jenison and works for Century 21 Affiliated. The couple said Boeve was difficult to work with, scheduled
showings at odd times, and showed a lack of effort.
They said he misrepresented offers and showed a lack of concern for their best interest. The couple also said Boeve tried to lower their sale price significantly below market value.
“Instead of offer, our turn, counter offer, your turn, counter offer. No. Instead, it was ‘you go ahead and counter offer them again,’ at a price that we didn’t agree on,” DeBoise explained.
The couple requested Boeve terminate the contract. Their lawyer alleged numerous ethical violations against Boeve, like agreeing to break the contract in exchange for a $2,500 marketing fee.
“According to the Realtor code of ethics, accountability, truth in accountability is one of those ethics. He refused to show us where we spent… where he spent $2500 with marketing this house,” DeBoise explained.
They also said Boeve added an extra $695 on top of the 6% commission. They don’t know why.
But they were stuck and unable to cancel the contract because Boeve wouldn`t remove their house from the MLS.
Fed up, Randy and Gayle decided to email the FOX 17 Problem Solvers.
FOX 17 called and left a message on Boeve’s cell phone and left multiple messages with his office.
We were told Boeve was out, and we didn`t get a call back. So FOX 17 went to his office.
We waited for several minutes before Boeve finally came out with a piece of paper in his hand.
He headed past the FOX 17 crew, out the building, and to his car. The verbal exchange went as follows:
Cunningham: Hi Mr. Boeve. Darren Cunningham, FOX 17.
Boeve: I don’t know who you’re talking to.
Cunningham: Uh, you’re Mr. Boeve right? Howie Boeve?
Cunningham: I’m just here to talk to you about Gayle Lindsay, Randy DeBoise.
Boeve: I don’t know who they are.
Cunningham: You don’t know who they are?
Boeve: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Cunningham: You’re not their Realtor?
Boeve: I fired them a week ago.
Cunningham: You fired them a week ago? Can you show me some documentation of that?
Boeve: I’m going over there right now.
Boeve closed his SUV door.
Cunningham: So you’re saying you fired them a week ago, but you just said you don’t know who they are or what I’m talking about.
After that exchange, FOX 17 got a call from Randy DeBoise and Gayle Lindsay. They said Boeve was at their home with an agreement to terminate the contract, but only if we didn’t run a story.
DeBoise indicated Boeve was present during the phone call and stood quietly in the background.
DeBoise said, “The one thing Howie’s asked us to do is call you and tell you that we would like to withdraw our conversation.”
FOX 17 said directly to Boeve, “Mr. Boeve, do you know this is extortion? This is pretty much extortion and blackmail. That’s what it sounds like for this family. [silence] Do you have anything to say to that?”
Deboise replied, “[Boeve] is just shaking his head ‘no,’ that he doesn’t.”
It’s a good thing the couple contacted the FOX 17 Problem Solvers. Just hours after we tracked down Howie Boeve, the 9 month ordeal was over. The contract was finally canceled.
FOX 17 spoke with DeBoise on camera again. He said, “Amazingly… about a half hour later, the Realtor was at our doorstep with a contract to terminate the agreement.”
“It’s literally like coming out of a tunnel,” he described.
The Hudsonville couple said this is a learning experience for them and for others to beware. They said they’ve learned a 12-month contract with a Realtor isn’t necessarily the norm. In hindsight, they would have opted for a 3 or 6 month contract to avoid situations like this one.
After an email correspondence with the couple and FOX 17, Boeve sent FOX 17 an email late in the afternoon stating the following:
“Randy and Gayle’s email says it all. We are now all moving on our separate paths and wish them the best in getting the conclusion they seek. I want to thank your station for moving this long festering matter to a satisfactory conclusion. Keep up the good work.” - Howie Boeve