Michael Hellickson, a real estate agent allegedly doing business in Washington, Oregan and Hawaii, has had his Washington real estate license suspended by Washington’s Department of Licensing (DOL), according to a Statement of Charges filed earliar this month. Tara Hellickson, a real estate broker, and Hellickson.com, Inc., a real estate firm have been also been named by the DOL.
According to the DOL, the Hellicksons advertised on their website, Hellickson.com, that they were “#1 Agent In Washinton, Oregon and Hawaii” and they were “top Washington, Oregon and Hawaii” real estate agents. The advertisements make representations that the Hellicksons were licensed real estate professionals in the states of Oregon and Hawaii, when they were only licensed in Washington. The Hellicksons allegedly made fales claims on their website they if they failed to sell a home in 30-90 days, they would buy it themselves, and that “Michael and his team of experts can now provide everything from zero down loans to super jumbo loans at the most competetive rates in the industry” when Michael was not licensed as a loan originator or mortager broker.
The Hellicksons also allegedly encouraged homeowners to stop making payments on their home loans, as well as listing homes at prices that they were not authorized by the homeowners to sell at. The Hellicksons would list homes at artificially reduced prices, in order to generate mutluple low-ball offers. The reduced list price of homes being sold regularly fell below what the lender was willing to accept to release the lien on the home.
The DOL also alleges a pattern and practice of misrepresenting the contents of the listing agreement to the homeowners for sale, sometimes by misrepresenting the expiration date of the listing, sometimes by having the homeowner fill out a blank addendum and later filling in fake authorizations for automatic price reductions on the home, or other addenda that were not explained, or explained in a misleading way to the howeowners. The Hellicksons allegedly failed to provide copies of executed listing agreements to homeowners at the time of execution, and drafting addenda to purchase and sale agreements as part of a counter-offer, stating “All Parties are aware that the sellers have requested the buyer’s pre-qualify through one of the following lenders,” after which statement the Hellicksons listed two to three individuals at specific lending institutions. The home owners did not request the buyers pre-qualify through any specific lender.