Realtor damages floors after breaking into unlisted, vacant home - CBS46 News

Realtor damages floors after breaking into unlisted, vacant home

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Carla Robinson Carla Robinson

A local woman has Tough Questions for the real estate agent who took a client on a tour of her home and made a mess in the process. Even worse, the home wasn't even on the market. Police said the agent broke into the home to show it to her client.

The homeowner says the real estate agent tracked dust and grout all over their freshly stained hardwoods. Instead of fixing the problem, the agency says the owner should make all the repairs herself.

"This is all the grout from the tile we had done and this is all grout dust and stuff that's been tracked in from the tile on the floors to the hardwoods," explained homeowner Tammy Popaeko, looking over her messy living room floors.

Popaeko said a nasty water leak that started in her kitchen in late 2010 caused thousands of dollars in damage. She and her family moved up the street with her mother while they made repairs.

"I feel like I'm violated," said Popaeko. "If she didn't break into my house I wouldn't have this problem."

Popaeko said Carla Robinson, the real estate agent, managed to get inside her home and showed it to a client as if the property was for sale even though there wasn't a lock box on the door knob or a sign in the front yard. The home wasn't even on the market.

"I'm seven months pregnant you know, things are moving kind of quickly," said Popaeko. "I'm ready to move into my house. This wouldn't have happened if the realtor hadn't broken into my house."

Popaeko said the realtor's contractor told her to clean the mess up herself, and offered $500 for the trouble. 

Police didn't arrest Robinson and her client, but they did issue a criminal trespass warning and told them to never come back.

A lawyer Prudential Georgia Realty sent CBS Atlanta News a letter saying that while they want to fix the floor, damages do not meet the $4,000 Popaeko insists the repairs will cost.

Seth G. Weissman, counsel for Prudential Georgia Realty issued this statement:

"One of our real estate agents and her buyer client mistakenly entered a vacant, unlocked house in Cartersville thinking it was available for sale.  As it turned out, the house was not for sale but was empty because it was being renovated by its owners. The real estate agent and her client walked on hard wood floors not realizing that the floors had only recently been stained.  The owner is now claiming that this caused severe damage to the floors and is demanding $4,000 to repair them.  Prudential Georgia Realty is more than willing to pay for the actual damage to the floors.  Our only point of disagreement with the owner is over what is the damage and what is the true cost of repairing it. 

In an effort to resolve the matter, Prudential Georgia Realty contacted an independent flooring contractor with 16 years experience installing and repairing floors.  Since the floors have not yet been sealed, he concluded that there was no damage to the floor but only dirt and dust that needed to be cleaned before the floors are finished.  He also explained that this type of thing happens very frequently in construction and remodeling.  As a result, Prudential Georgia Realty offered to pay the property owner $500.  This should cover the cost of cleaning the floor several times over. However, if for some unanticipated reason, cleaning does not remove the dust, the $500 will also more than cover the cost of spot sanding and re-staining any affected area.

The owner is asking Prudential Georgia to pay to completely re-sand and re-stain all of the wood floors in the house and to then seal them with polyurethane.  Since the floors were not sealed to begin with and appear to an independent expert only to need cleaning, we see this demand as excessive.  Prudential Georgia Realty is sorry for the mistake our agent made and will continue to work with the owner to get this matter resolved."

But Popaeko said that isn't good enough. S he wants her floors repaired before the baby comes.

"All I just want is my hardwood floors," said Popaeko.

Popaeko said her next step is to hire a lawyer and sue for the cost of repairs. 

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