Real estate company MV Realty is under investigation, accused of scamming people into signing deceptive contracts with major financial consequences. The contracts in question are called “Homeowner Benefit Agreements.”
By signing the contract, a homeowner agrees to use MV Realty as their listing agent if they decide to sell their home in the next 40 years. If they break the contract and sell their house using a different Realtor, they still have to pay MV Realty 3% of their home’s value. In exchange, the homeowner gets a check; anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have all sued MV Realty, saying the company targets people who have money trouble and these contracts are not fully explained to people before they sign. The FCC also says it recently shut down an illegal MV Realty robocall operation in connection.
North Carolina’s Attorney General says it has a total of 18 complaints against MV Realty, 13 of them have come in 2023. The AG’s Office and the North Carolina Real Estate Commission are investigating MV Realty’s actions in North Carolina. “I applaud the House and the Senate for their commitment to protecting North Carolina homeowners,” said NC Attorney General Josh Stein. “My office is taking MV Realty to court to put them out of business because we allege they’re preying on vulnerable people to trick them into unfair, long-term agreements – but we also need a law to make sure that other companies can’t copy their fraudulent playbook.”
The regulation introduced in the NC General Assembly is the “Unfair Real Estate Agreements Act, meant to protect North Carolina homeowners from predatory, long-term real estate agreements such as the agreement in question by MV Realty. The Unfair Real Estate Agreements Act is sponsored in the House (HB 422) by Reps. Kyle Hall, Charles Miller, Hugh Blackwell, and Vernetta Alston, and in the Senate (SB 344) by Sens. Joyce Krawiec, Brad Overcash, and Paul Lowe.
“As a professional realtor, I understand that real estate transactions can sometimes be complicated, expensive, and expansive,” said Rep. Kyle Hall. “North Carolina property owners deserve peace of mind that our laws prevent bad actors from taking advantage of them with unfair, confusing, and misleading sales contracts. That’s why I’m proud to introduce this legislation to protect consumers with straightforward and clear contracts.”
“Exploiting homeowners with predatory business practices has no place in North Carolina, and I thank my colleagues in the legislature and Attorney General Josh Stein for helping put an end to these deceitful operations,” said Sen. Joyce Krawiec.
The Unfair Real Estate Agreements Act prohibits oppressive, long-term “Right to List” service agreements that purport to run with the land, create a lien or security interest on a homeowner’s property, or are otherwise assigned without the homeowner’s clear consent. The legislation, which the Department of Justice helped draft, is supported by AARP, NC REALTORS, and the NC Real Estate Commission.
Click here to read more about the proposed legislation.