Hoodwinked: Texas Couple Accuses Phony Realtor of Stealing Their Home and Listing It for Rent on Craigslist
A Texas couple says they were bamboozled by a phony realtor who offered to help sell their home, but instead stole it from under them and listed it for lease on Craigslist. Now, police are investigating exactly how something like this happened.
John and Pamela Hall of Missouri City said they were approached by a woman purporting to be a real estate agent who wanted to help them sell their sprawling 4,000 sq. ft. home, but things weren’t at all what they seemed.
“We both signed the form for her to be our realtor,” Pamela Hall told local station KHOU.
Days later, Hall said she was surprised to receive a call from someone looking to rent their home — the one they thought they had put up for sale.
“She wanted to lease the home because it was on Craigslist,” Hall said. “I said ma’am my home is not on Craigslist. She said ‘Yes, it is.'”
It turned out the couple’s home was on Craigslist after all, pictures included, under the heading “$2500 / 5br – 4242ft2 – Missouri City Waterfront Rental, no credit no problem.”
“Contact us to learn more about how you can lease to own one of our man Houston homes with no credit checks and no banks involved,” the Craigslist property description reads. ” … The perfect option for those who want a house, but can’t use traditional means of acquiring one.”
After doing a little digging, the couple learned that the woman they hired to sell their home had taken ownership of it through an LLC. Hall said she, nor her husband, gave permission for their home to be leased, calling the entire setup a “scam.”
“These people changed our deed,” she said. ” … They had got a power of attorney over our home, all the forms were notarized, but we’ve never been in front of a notary, never signed paperwork. Everything they’ve done was fraudulent.”
Attempts to look up the so-called realtor’s name turned up zero results with the Texas Real Estate Commission, KHOU reported.
The couple has since retained a legitimate real estate agent, Scheketta Lawson, to help them pick up the pieces. Lawson said the phony realtor goes under different aliases and gave her clients one name while using another name on social media.
On Tuesday, the Halls said they drove past their house to check on it and saw people moving in. Pamela said the prospective tenant had apparently paid the mystery realtor $5,000 to rent it. Now, all of their calls are going unreturned.
“She’s kind of been defrauded also,” Pamela told KHOU. “She’s not the only one. We have all been defrauded.”