HENDERSON, Nev. - New homes are being built across the valley. Ron Robinson wanted to own one so he put a deposit down on a Beazer home in Henderson.
"I gave them $5,448," he said.
While waiting for loan approval and the home appraisal, Ron said he was repeatedly told one thing.
"Every time I inquired about refunds, I was assured that Beazer is not in the practice of keeping customers' money," he said.
That wasn't the case, however.
"As a matter of fact, I was not offered any type of negotiation - just told that the home did not appraise and that I couldn't get my money back," he said.
According to realtor Lori Knoetop, who did not represent Ron in his deal, appraisals can often come in too low when upgrades are added to a home.
"It's kind of like a crap shoot," she said.
Ron sought a resolution during conversations with the president and vice president of Beazer Homes, but he said every request fell on deaf ears.
Ron contacted 8 on Your Side which had Knoetop examine his contract with Beazer Homes. She discovered the earnest and refund deposits were non-refundable, but she found a loophole. The home had recently sold for more money than Ron was going to pay.
"Because of Channel 8, I got to the president and the VP right away," Ron said.
He got his money back, but his case highlights a larger problem. Why did Beazer Homes' salespeople promise something that wasn't true?
8 on Your Side asked Beazer Homes Vice President of Sales and Marketing Kellie Perez for an explanation. Perez says the company is re-examining how salespeople deal with customers and is attempting to fix the problem.
"What we have gone over is the purchase agreement. What is contained in there, so we make sure our salespeople explain it properly?" she said.
Ron wishes he had been given that courtesy, but for now, is glad to have his money back.
"I can pay some bills now," he said.
Robinson got his money back, even though Beazer was under no obligation to refund the money. He may never have found himself in this situation if he had done one thing differently. Rather than having a real estate agent represent him in this deal, he chose to use Beazer Home's salesperson as his representative.
If he had used an independent agent, he would have had an advocate working exclusively for him who may have better explained the contract or negotiated a new deal after the appraisal didn't come in.
If you have a problem or consumer complaint, call 8 on Your Side at 650-1907 or email us.