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  1. #1
    HomeBuyer is offline Junior Member
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    Default TotallyHomes.com is a SCAM - Mark Robins is Liar

    If you are in the market to buy a house, DO NOT USE MARK ROBINS from TotallyHomes as your agent. He will rip you off and SCAM you at Closing. That's what happened to me. His so called "SmartBuy Refund" where he supposedly gives you back half of the Buyer's Agent Commission is a load of crap. Beware, Mark Robins is a liar and a cheat, he will appear nice and friendly but when you go to close, he will sneak in hidden fees ($500 to $1000) and don't even think you're going get any rebate/refund from him. I got ZERO!!!! I actually ended paying him (his hidden fee) to represent me and earn a full 3% commission from me. He's a scam Artist! He will refer you to his recommended Home Inspection company, his Title Agency, and whover he can partner up with to make money off you. He is the worst negotiator in the history of Real Estate; he'll tell you to go in at nearly full asking price (Even in a Buyer's Market) and feed you a bunch if lies about the house may not be on the market long. If you get suckered into working with him, don't tell him your ceiling otherwise he will use that against you to negotiate a higher number with the Seller's Agent. He is a Scumbag....do NOT USE him unless you want to get scammed. He also seems to suffer from Bi-polar disorder....he's nuts!

  2. #2
    HomeInspectorBC is offline Senior Member
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    Hello Homebuyer,

    If this agent is as bad as you say than maybe you should contact the local and state board of Realtors as well as the better business bureau.
    Brian Connelly
    Safe & Sound Home Inspections
    Serving the great states of PA-NJ-DE
    Toll Free 1 866 485-1991
    www.asafensoundhomeinspection.com

  3. #3
    Cya's Avatar
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    Wow! Now, I know the name Mark Robins (spelled with 1 "b") is probably very common. But if by chance this is the same guy I'm thinking of, he is in fact a scum bag and not to be trusted.
    "HomeBuyer" came on here with his/her very first posting to tell us all this. If he/she comes back, I'd like to hear more about this particular Mark Robins. Description? Age?
    To the Firefighters union and DC33-
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  4. #4
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    thesomersteam is offline Senior Member
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    Not for nothing, this is another example for consumers to use a well-qualified buyers agent to receive that top-notch representation instead of a discount service that advertises buyer rebates.

    Almost every brokerage company that has used the rebate model has failed, most notably Zip Realty who revamped their model and closed many of their offices. Since a buyer does not pay any real estate commission, he can choose any of the premier buyers agents for a particular area and be well rewarded through top-level communication and representation instead of having to deal with anything less.

    It is unlikely that your better agents are working at discount houses. When I hear stories like this, I get upset too as it is understandable how folks can be lured in by these "rebates". And it brings down the whole industry when consumers are not properly represented.
    Realtor / Owner REMAX Access

    http://www.thesomersteam.com/
    http://www.accessphilly.com/

    @phillyrealty
    @thesomersteam

  5. #5
    ChesterCounty is offline Junior Member
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    Mark Robins doesn't have a Real estate license in the State of Pennsylvania, please contact the Pennsylvania State Real estate Commission to discuss your Situation.
    State Real Estate Commission

    Go to File A Complaint -There is also a Real Estate Recovery Act you can look into

  6. #6
    tsarstruck is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesomersteam View Post
    Almost every brokerage company that has used the rebate model has failed.
    Yes. Redfin sure does seem to be going under any second now. God forbid real estate agents have to compete on price.

  7. #7
    tsarstruck is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesomersteam View Post
    Since a buyer does not pay any real estate commission
    God. I didn't even read that part. That's like pretending that when sales tax are included in the price of a soda that you're not paying it. Bull****.

  8. #8
    thesomersteam's Avatar
    thesomersteam is offline Senior Member
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    What is confusing about that ? Show me a HUD-1 where the real estate commission is on the buyers side. Those situations are extremely rare. A lot of consumers do not understand buyer agency and think that they have to pay a real estate commission when they buy a property.

    The real estate commission is paid on the sellers side of the HUD-1. The point here was representation and why would a buyer choose to get discounted representation in order to get a rebate when there is no out of pocket costs ?

    I can understand a sophisticated seller perhaps using a discount model perhaps to pay the buyer agent only. But on the buy side with such an important decision, it might not make a lot of sense to get a "rebate". Often time, that rebate could have been made 2 times over with a better negotiated deal. If one chooses to do so, then it is their choice. Like anything else, it is good for the consumer to have choices. Each consumer can determine the positives and negatives. Obviously, in this case from the original post, it was not a good experience for the buyer.

    CS

  9. #9
    tsarstruck is offline Senior Member
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    Yes, this guy was apparently a douche and seemingly a fraud.

    But what's misleading about your statement? Everything. Yes, it may clarify the _way_ the fee is paid (and yes, I get that it's technically a split of the seller broker's fee), but it certainly attempts to obfuscate the fee itself. As does the nonsense about the fee not being "out of pocket." Yes, it gets rolled into the price of the house. Which until I hear differently from my bank still has to be paid for. And, let's not forget: rolling it into the price of the house makes the fee _larger_. If you take out the 3% fee on a house that would sell for $300K, it would reduce the house's selling price by $9,000; the fee on $291,000 is $270 less.

    Look. I'm not going to crap on all real estate agents. There are a lot of good ones, and the hassle for not using one is high (but not because it has to be). Some give good advice, and a very select few who are good negotiators (against their financial interest). But let's not pretend that the magical 3% fee is anything but an arbitrary number maintained by a collusive industry group that makes it very, very difficult to avoid them. In my case, my real estate agent was very nice and competent. But in a neighborhood I understood at least as well as she, in "access" to the MLS listing so I could tell her what houses I wanted to see, for a house I ended up buying for asking on the first day listed (long story), and for making sure papers were in order, did I get my 3% worth? Absolutely not.

    In the end, the question is not who pays the fee, but is there anything magical about this 3% number? Does 3% guarantee a "better negotiated deal"? In that case, I'm going to try my next agent into taking 5%! The bottom line is that the buyer broker system ensures an arbitrary, noncompetitive fee for the broker, and a system where the agent's and the buyer's financial interests are directly opposed. And shocker: every time you hear about a unscrupulous discount broker, agents come out of the woodwork to claim that this "proves" their point. It doesn't.

  10. #10
    HomeBuyer is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Cya,

    Hope he didn't scam you or somone you know. I'd be happy to describe him. He's a white male, 60 yrs old, about 6'1", all white/greying hair, claims he has an office near 5th and Walnut next to the bagel Factor, has another office in Wayne, PA (500 Chesterbrook Blvd D10, Wayne, PA 19087), has a weird way of communicating (likes to say: "I'm just talking here okay..."), likes to do the double handed "high-five", saw him driving a light blue nissan altima one day, and he always makes up excuses when getting back to you. Tell everyone in your circle about him.

  11. #11
    HomeBuyer is offline Junior Member
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    Great info, I'm going to file this complaint...thanks ChesterCounty!

  12. #12
    HomeBuyer is offline Junior Member
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    Hi CS,

    I am fully aware that the Buyer never pays a fee for the Agent to represent them which is exactly why he scammed me at closing with this fee tacked on the HUD-1 at the 11th hour. It was listed as "TotallyHomes Service Fee" on the HUD. And the son of bitch didn't even show up at closing, making up some excuse about him being stuck in traffic and to proceed without him. I really think he has some kind of inside arrangement with this Titling Agency because he looked at me as if I should have known and clearly he added it to the HUD as per Marks instructions. Not a good experience at all CS!

  13. #13
    Cya's Avatar
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    Cya is offline Don't get me started
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    Quote Originally Posted by HomeBuyer View Post
    Hi Cya,

    Hope he didn't scam you or somone you know. I'd be happy to describe him. He's a white male, 60 yrs old, about 6'1", all white/greying hair, claims he has an office near 5th and Walnut next to the bagel Factor, has another office in Wayne, PA (500 Chesterbrook Blvd D10, Wayne, PA 19087), has a weird way of communicating (likes to say: "I'm just talking here okay..."), likes to do the double handed "high-five", saw him driving a light blue nissan altima one day, and he always makes up excuses when getting back to you. Tell everyone in your circle about him.
    Oh, god. It sounds like him.
    If it's the same guy, do a google search of his name and see if it's the same Mark Robins associated with a scam where past mayoral candidate Sam Katz was involved. I believe Katz was actually a victim. Robins did jail time for that.
    He's truly not one to trust with anything.
    I know him from a time prior to that when he ran/owned a travel agency.
    It seems he'll do anything to scam a buck outta somebody.
    To the Firefighters union and DC33-
    "Show me the man you honor, and I will know what kind of man you are."
    - Thomas Carlyle

    To Mayor Nutter:
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    Winston S. Churchill

  14. #14
    the mule's Avatar
    the mule is offline Tumescent Member
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    Ex-worker in Katz firm sentenced to jail term Mark Robins had stolen $290,000 from the company. He made restitution and will serve 14 to 30 months. - Philly.com

    [Katz] called Robins, whose past includes convictions for armed robbery and drug smuggling, "a pathological liar."

  15. #15
    Brooke's Avatar
    Brooke is offline Moderator
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    Homebuyer, how did you find this guy to begin with?
    Licensed Pennsylvania Real Estate Salesperson and inactive and happily non-practicing Attorney, CITYSPACE
    www.freshquarters.com

  16. #16
    Andy Sharpe is offline Never anonymous
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    This is why I like PhillySpeaks so much! I should point out I've never used Mark Robins, and am merely relying on what I'm reading on this forum/Philly.com. However, the evidence looks pretty condemning. After checking out totallyhomes.com, the sad thing is it looks like Robins is representing a ton of people looking to move all over the Delaware Valley (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia Counties). If this is not a fabrication (and it could be), I would hope all these potential victims would be made aware of this.

  17. #17
    HomeBuyer is offline Junior Member
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    Hi Brooke,

    I found him online through his website: HomeFinderXL. I submitted my info and he called me the next day. Sorry for the late reply.

  18. #18
    Tartan69's Avatar
    Tartan69 is online now Pawn in game of life
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsarstruck View Post
    Yes, it may clarify the _way_ the fee is paid (and yes, I get that it's technically a split of the seller broker's fee), but it certainly attempts to obfuscate the fee itself. As does the nonsense about the fee not being "out of pocket." Yes, it gets rolled into the price of the house. Which until I hear differently from my bank still has to be paid for. And, let's not forget: rolling it into the price of the house makes the fee _larger_. If you take out the 3% fee on a house that would sell for $300K, it would reduce the house's selling price by $9,000; the fee on $291,000 is $270 less.

    Look. I'm not going to crap on all real estate agents. There are a lot of good ones, and the hassle for not using one is high (but not because it has to be). Some give good advice, and a very select few who are good negotiators (against their financial interest). But let's not pretend that the magical 3% fee is anything but an arbitrary number maintained by a collusive industry group that makes it very, very difficult to avoid them. In my case, my real estate agent was very nice and competent. But in a neighborhood I understood at least as well as she, in "access" to the MLS listing so I could tell her what houses I wanted to see, for a house I ended up buying for asking on the first day listed (long story), and for making sure papers were in order, did I get my 3% worth? Absolutely not.

    In the end, the question is not who pays the fee, but is there anything magical about this 3% number? Does 3% guarantee a "better negotiated deal"? In that case, I'm going to try my next agent into taking 5%! The bottom line is that the buyer broker system ensures an arbitrary, noncompetitive fee for the broker, and a system where the agent's and the buyer's financial interests are directly opposed. And shocker: every time you hear about a unscrupulous discount broker, agents come out of the woodwork to claim that this "proves" their point. It doesn't.
    This is pretty well-stated. The problem with the Realtor industry is that the barrier to entry is low. Any goofball can study for a week and pass the test and hang a shingle. Thus it dilutes the pool of realtors significantly and unfairly gives the good ones a bad name.

    Additionally the 3% figure is indeed questionable. The figure *should* be based on what services were rendered rather than the fixed cost. If the Realtor has to do a lot of work to hold the customer's hand...on the buying side by showing them 20 different properties or on the seller side by hosting 10 different open houses...not to mention leading them through all the paperwork...then by all means they deserve it. However for a lot of customers who are well-versed in the process and know exactly what they want and are willing to do the work for it, there's not a lot of value-add to paying that much for a Realtor...however you are correct that there is a large amount of hassle by not using one. I have heard of more and more sellers just going with Realtors that only charge for putting the property on the MLS. I personally have a close friend who is a Realtor (and also owns a construction company) and he always credits the majority of his commission back to me...the rest we usually spend at the bar. ;-)

  19. #19
    sharkey is offline Senior Member
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    Default re agent requirement

    No, you cannot just study for a week and pass a test. First, you must be a high school graduate. Second, you must take the two designated basic r.e. courses at a college or approved r.e. school. Third, you must pass a state becjground check for criminal records. The, you can take the exam. If you pass, you must work under the SUPERVISION of a Broker. The requirements to become a broker are more onerous.

  20. #20
    NickleDimer is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharkey View Post
    No, you cannot just study for a week and pass a test. First, you must be a high school graduate. Second, you must take the two designated basic r.e. courses at a college or approved r.e. school. Third, you must pass a state becjground check for criminal records. The, you can take the exam. If you pass, you must work under the SUPERVISION of a Broker. The requirements to become a broker are more onerous.
    So it's roughly the same qualifications that you need to get licensed to drive a fork lift?

 

 

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