In a small home in Pierce County, 85-year-old Betty Wiedenhoft still mourns the death of her son.
“Everything he did made me proud,” Betty said. “He was a very, very hard worker. And he was very honest.”
Ron Glenn, Betty’s son, passed away in August 2022 at the age of 66.
And yet, while she still grieves, Betty is angry at having to deal with the embattled real estate company MV Realty.
Betty says her son signed with the company while he was sick, just a few days after he left the hospital.
So what does Betty think of MV Realty?
“I want somebody to wring their neck,” she said. “I really do.”
“We want vengeance,” Ron’s partner Allan McPherson added.
Allan says Ron was hospitalized in April 2022 with a number of illnesses, including end-stage renal disease. After he left the hospital to recover at Betty’s home, a notary showed up.
A notary apparently sent by MV Realty.
“Betty said, ‘You want to come in?’ He went, ‘No, I’m okay.’ So, he said, ‘Can you get Ron for us?’” Allan recalled. “So, we got Ron out there -- they sat on the back porch and signed papers so that neither of us were able to go, ‘Hey, don’t do that.’”
MV Realty pitches 40-year exclusive listing deals, paying customers for the right to sell their homes over the next four decades.
Ron received a little more than $2,300 after MV Realty’s valued his home at $775,000.
“He was on 35 medications. Over 35 medications, multiple times a day,” Allan said.
Jesse asked if Allan was in the right space to sign contracts.
“He was not of mind to do that,” Allan said.
“I don’t think he comprehended what he was reading,” Betty agreed.
Betty is the executor of Ron’s estate, but she says Ron didn’t tell her about the deal. And since Betty didn’t know about the deal, another agent was already trying to sell the house.
Because of that, MV Realty sent an email asking Betty to pay an Early Termination Fee of 3% of that $775,000 value.
“I don’t mind paying something that’s honest and above board, but I don’t like to be taken advantage of,” Betty said. “And I feel they’re taking advantage.”
So, Betty paid MV Realty $23,250. But there’s a problem.
Betty sold the house for $530,000, which is less than the $775,000 because the agent says it had issues with the roof, gutters and floors. Even so, the evaluation MV Realty used did not include an inspection.
“I just feel like I’ve been robbed,” Betty said.
The valuation doesn’t match what the house sold for. Three percent of $530,000 isn’t $23,250; it’s $15,900.
Seattle University law professor Steven Bender says the contract allows MV Realty to cash in no matter what the house is actually worth when it sells.
“The get to choose the value... bounded by reasonableness,” Bender noted. “But again, what is reasonable? Who gets to decide what is reasonable? And if I disagree, that’s unreasonable.”
MV Realty is being sued by Attorneys General in Florida, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts for deceptive and unfair business practices. The company is also under investigation in Georgia and North Carolina.
As a result of our reporting, State Senator Mark Mullet of Issaquah and Republican State Senator Perry Dozier of Waitsburg authored Senate Bill 5399, a bipartisan effort to limit these contracts to 5 years.
In response, MV Realty, through a company spokesperson, said, “The contract merely has a floor on the value of the home. In this case, the agreed value and the actual sales price did diverge, but this is unusual.”
They also added that MV operates with transparency and in full compliance with the law.
“His dream was to fix (the house) just exactly the way he wanted it,” Betty said. “Inside and out. The whole building.”
Ron died just four months after he signed with MV Realty and Betty felt it was best to sell the home that had been in the family for decades.
And she will always wonder why her son signed a deal that provided him so little, but cost so much.
“I just don’t understand why he would have even considered it,” Betty said.
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