Swanton, Ronald Lee
Respondent(s): Carolin Arleta Perez, Principal Broker, Ronald Lee Swanton, Salesperson, Tri-State Real Estate, Wister, Oklahoma, Formal Hearing #3507
Violation(s): Arkansas Code Annotated § 17-42-311(a)(2), §17-42-309(a), § 17-42-311(a)(13) and Commission Regulations 7.3(a), 8.5(a), 10.4(b), 10.4(d)(2), 10.10(a), 10.10(a)(1) 10.12(b)
Sanction(s): The Commission votes unanimously that Respondent Perez pay a $1,000.00 fine to the Commission, and that Respondent Perez’ real estate license is revoked.
The Commission votes unanimously that Respondent Swanton must take thirty (30) hours post licensure education thirty (30) days prior to reactivating his real estate license.
On June 25, 2013, property owners Lamar and Eileen Pearce entered into an Exclusive Right-to-Sell Agreement with Tri-State Real Estate to list their property located at 21727 Chinquapin, lot 16, block 2 Ponderosa Lake Addition, Springdale, Arkansas. Sellers Pearce paid Tri-State Real Estate a non-refundable listing fee of $250 by check dated June 25, 2013. On June 22, 2014, an Addendum to the Exclusive Right-to-Sell Agreement was signed by Sellers Pearce extending expiration date to December 24, 2014.
On November 2, 2014, Sellers Pearce entered into a new Exclusive Right-To-Sell Agreement with Tri-State Real Estate to list the property located at 21727 Chinquapin, lot 16, block 2 Ponderosa Lake Addition, Springdale, Arkansas. The listing price of the property was $194,500.00. The listing agreement began on November 2, 2014, and included an expiration date of May 2, 2015.
On April 30, 2015, Principal Broker Respondent Perez’s Oklahoma Real Estate License expired. Respondent Perez did not notify the Arkansas Real Estate Commission that her Oklahoma Real Estate License had expired. Respondent Perez removed her real estate sign from her office location that she had filed with the Arkansas Real Estate Commission.
On October 2, 2015 Buyers Greg and Mona Neaville, through Crye-Leike Realtors, Springdale made an offer on the subject property for $194,000.00. Complainants Sellers Pearce accepted and signed the contract on October 29, 2015. The Closing date was scheduled for December 2, 2015. Paragraph 5 of the Real Estate Contract stated "Seller to pay up 3% of sale price in buyers prepaid and closing costs." Sellers Pearce had actually agreed to pay "up to" 3%. Respondent Swanton did not provide Sellers Pearce a copy of the contract signed by all parties.
On December 5, 2015, a General Addendum was executed by buyers and sellers extending the closing date to on or before December 22, 2015. Respondent Swanton did not provide Sellers Pierce a copy of the General Addendum signed by all parties.
Sellers Pierce did not receive copies of the executed Real Estate Contract or General Addendum prior to closing. Respondent Swanton had planned to present the documents to the Sellers at closing. Prior to the scheduled closing Sellers’ Closing Agent Sheila Colvin of Realty Title & Closing Services emailed Respondents Perez and Swanton the HUD document on December 16, 2015. Both Respondents Perez and Swanton claim they did not receive the email or HUD document from Closing Agent Colvin. Respondent Perez did not make a satisfactory effort to obtain or review a copy of their Seller Client’s closing statement prior to closing. The written closing instructions Respondent Perez provided to Realty Title & Closing Services, Closing Agent for their Seller Client only addressed the sales commission disbursement. In her instructions to Realty & Title Closing Services, Respondent Perez directed Closing Agent Sheila Colvin to issue a check directly to Salesperson Respondent Swanton for his portion of the sales commission.
Respondent Perez had not signed the copies of the Real Estate Contract provided to the Buyers’ closing company, Prime Title and Escrow Company, or, to the Sellers’ closing company, Realty Title & Closing Services to indicate that she had reviewed the Real Estate Contract prior to closing. The copy of the Real Estate Contract Respondent Perez provided to the Commission with her answer to the complaint did include her signature as Principal Broker.
The Buyers closed on December 21, 2015 with Prime Title and Escrow Company. The Buyers’ Total Settlement Charges were $2,145.10. Three percent of the purchase price, $5,820 was deducted from the Gross Amount Due from Borrower and identified as Sellers Credit.
Sellers arrived at Realty Title & Closing Services ahead of the scheduled time for closing. Sellers became upset when they learned they would have to pay to close.
The Sellers closed on December 21, 2015, with Realty Title & Closing Services. Sellers Pearces’ proceeds at settlement were reduced by $5,820.00, identified as "Seller paid closing costs". Complainant Sellers Pearce were required to pay $2,547.91 at closing.
Sellers Pierce filed a formal complaint against Respondents Perez and Swanton with the Real Estate Commission regarding the lack of proceeds from the sale of their property. Respondents Perez and Swanton filed an answer to the complaint. After receiving her Client Sellers’ complaint, Respondent Perez did not make a satisfactory effort to obtain or to to review or have reviewed her Seller Client’s closing statement to determine whether her client had been overcharged at closing. Real Estate Commission investigators discovered the $3,675 error when reviewing the Sellers’ closing statement and notified the Respondents and Closing Agent Colvin. Sellers Pearce withdrew their complaint after receiving compensation to settle the dispute.
Respondent Swanton’s real estate activities were concentrated in the area immediately surrounding Springdale, Arkansas, located a substantial distance from Respondent Perez’s place of business in Wister, Oklahoma. Respondent Perez knew or should have known these circumstances significantly impaired her ability as a Principal Broker to provide adequate contact and communication; educational and instructional activities; and, monitoring of the real estate activities for her Salesperson Respondent Swanton.