Unprofessional and unethical real estate agents: James Alavekios and Carol Vandenberg

by Prashant Dongale on March 10, 2013

Company Name:: James Alavekios and Carol Vandenberg

We recently bought a new home in Verona community in Redmond, WA built by Cosmos Homes. And I had a really bad experience with the on-site real estate agents that the builder had. James Alavekios was a listing agent there and Carol Vandenberg was a buyer’s agent. They are husband-wife. Both of them work for Windermere real estate.

Me and my wife visited the property several times before we made up our mind. And we met James during our visits. Carol also happened to be there as she was on-site buyer’s agent. And we had clearly told both of them that we had our own buyer’s agent. During our visits, we narrowed down on one property. And we went ahead to put a reservation on that property by signing a document and writing a check. During this process, James had offered his wife Carol to be our buyer’s agent, but sighting a potential conflict of interest, we declined the offer and clearly communicated it to them.

Later, we had our buyer’s agent talk to James as she was representing us and she made it very clear to them. She worked hard for a month to help close on our new home. And on the last day of closing, she was told that she would not be getting her 3% buyer’s agent commission, rather she would would get only 1%. They said that the reservation form that we had signed earlier made Carol our buyer’s agent. Our agent finally ended up getting 1.5% commission and the rest was kept with Carol.

There are several things that were so wrong:
Jim and Carol never disclosed to us that signing the reservation form made Carol our buyer’s agent. Carol never told us that she is our buyer’s agent, except for when it came to earning commission. How can changing a buyer’s agent be done even w/o their consent? In retrospect, I realize that both of them were very deliberate in hiding this information from us.
If they say, that Carol is our agent, when my real agent went to represent us they never told her about it. In fact, this information was kept hidden form us until the very last day of closing, when we were scrambling to get our deal and didn’t have much leverage (as we really liked the home). They took an advantage of that.
If they say Carol was our agent, during the whole closing process Carol didn’t do any work, no help with paperwork, no emails nothing. Anyone who has bought a home, how much your agent has to work to actually get a deal through. How can someone do no work and shamelessly ask for half the commission.
Overall, this was a really unprofessional and unethical behavior on part of the real estate agents James and Carol. So, in future, if you need to deal with them, be cautious. Do not assume a professional or ethical business practice on behalf of these agents. My mortgage agent who was also extremely frustrated and shocked due to this behavior from the agents told me that in her 15 year long career of dealing with real estate agents, she had never encountered someone who was so unprofessional. As a net result of this, we ended of losing thousands of dollars that our agent had promised to give us back from her commission.

This post was submitted by Prashant Dongale.

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Carol Vandenberg September 20, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Prashant Dongale is totally unprofessional and unethical! He and his wife came to Verona and signed in with a false name and signed in not working with a realtor. He and his wife met with me many times and said they would work with me as their buyers agent. One night they had me stay till 10:30 pm at night to help them make a buying decision. Then they came at another night to listen to the road noise and then in the morning to listen to the road noise. Then, I told them if the noise was too much on the home they were considering, they should buy Lot 16 and let’s write it up. Then after all that effort, they showed up with their agent……who was clearly in knowledge of the published site registration policy on nwmls. Then when he didn’t get all the money back to himself because his agent got what was published, 1%, I agreed to give his agent an additional 1/2% and Prashant Dongale, who works at Microsoft, gave his word that this was acceptable and the issue was closed. Then about 2 weeks later, he came into our model and demanded an additional $12,000! I guess he thought he could exhort the money from me by intimidating me at my place of work. I asked him how he would feel if I came to Microsoft and did what he was doing to me? Again, Prashant did not keep his word.
Now, this slanderous blog was removed last week and now is on line. I even got a threatening email from his friend! What next? I guess Pranshant Dongale and his wife will do anything to get money!!, It seems he should be worrying bout he and his wife’s reputation on the Internet! The only thing I am guilty of is giving his agent my commission and helping them get a beautiful new home in Redmond, Wa. They live close to Microsoft, downtown Redmond, and the Sammamish River Trails! I personally think Prashant Dongale was very lucky to meet Jm Alavekios and Carol VandenBerg and get such a wonderful home in Verona at Mondavio built by Redmond Ridge Investment Company.

If you want a beautiful new home in Veroan at Mondavio, come to our model home and talk with Jim or Carol and we promise to give you the most ethical and professional service! How can we help you with your real estate needs? You see each client is very important to us!