Investigates

New documents suggest MV Realty makes more money not selling homes than acting as real estate broker

Action News Jax is getting a look at new internal documents Georgia’s Attorney General uncovered relating to the Florida real estate company behind the controversial 40-year listing agreements.

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It’s a new development in a series of investigations on MV Realty that Action News Jax’s Emily Turner has been reporting on for almost 2 years.

Now, Emily shows us how those documents confirm that it’s more lucrative for MV Realty when it doesn’t sell a house.

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A business presentation MV Realty sent to potential investors said the company actually makes more money, even with legal expenses, collecting penalties from homeowners who violate its 40-year listing agreements than when it acts as a real estate broker and has to pay commission to an agent for selling a home.

Homeowner Willie Berry expected his home to sell quickly, but for 4 months, there were no offers. MV Realty never hosted an open house even though the newly renovated home sits in one of Georgia’s hottest zip codes.

“I don’t feel like they put in the full effort, you know, to make it sell,” Berry explained.

Read: Florida-based MV Realty still trying to enforce illegal 40-year listing agreements, victims say

Action News Jax told you about MV Realty’s homeowner benefit program where you get a small check now but a big penalty later. You owe the company 3% of the value of your house if you don’t use them to sell it.

Like so many of the people we have met over the past 2 years, Berry said he didn’t realize he was signing a 40-year deal with MV Realty.

But, unlike many of the other homeowners Action News Jax has spoken to, he agreed to have MV Realty act as his real estate agent.

“If I got to give 6%, you know, I might as well go ahead and use them [instead of] having to pay twice,” Berry said.

Read: INVESTIGATES: Florida Attorney General takes new action against MV Realty as it files for bankruptcy

But, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr’s lawsuit alleges that MV Realty’s primary business isn’t selling houses. Exhibit A, attached to the suit, is the MV Realty presentation to investors that the attorney general claims, “...confirms that MV Realty did not intend to operate as a residential real estate firm and instead intended to record memorandums on consumers’ homes to cloud the title.”

In the proposal, MV Realty writes that while it was founded as a digital-focused real estate brokerage, it “began transitioning the business into a specialty finance-focused prop-tech company.”

In its SEC filings, one of the investors put in plain English what that means. It listed MV Realty as a banking business, not a real estate company.

Read: Investigation: New actions taken against Florida-based real estate company MV Realty

Willie Berry took his home off the market last week after it didn’t sell and is refinancing his mortgage instead.

“I even dropped it down to what I sold, what I bought it for,” he said.

Like other homeowners who signed with MV Realty, Berry received an upfront check: $700 in his case. He said this has cost him a lot more than that.

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