Appeals from the Order of the Pennsylvania State Real Estate Commission in case of In the Matter of the Suspension or Revocation of Real Estate License No. R.B.-001518-A, issued March 1, 1962 to G. W. Jones, III and Real Estate License No. 088444, issued December 31, 1973 to Chester C. Reefer and Real Estate License No. R.B.-1518 issued January 5, 1931 to Real Realty Company, File No. 76-RE-997.
John B. Nicklas, Jr., with him McCrady, Nicklas & McCrady, for petitioner, G. W. Jones, III.
Henry M. Horvat, for petitioner, Chester C. Reefer.
Kenneth E. Brody, Assistant Attorney General, with him Gerald Gornish, Acting Attorney General, for respondent.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 47 Pa. Commw. Page 238]
On May 2, 1978, the State Real Estate Commission (Commission) revoked the real estate broker's licenses of G. W. Jones (Jones) and Real Realty Company (Real) and the real estate salesman's license of Chester C. Reefer (Reefer) employed by Real, for violating Section 10(a)(1) and (7) of the Real Estate Brokers License Act of 1929 (Act), Act of May 1, 1929, P.L. 1216, as amended, 63 P.S. § 440(a)(1), (7).*fn1 The license holders have appealed to this Court, and their appeals have been consolidated for argument and disposition. We affirm the Commission's findings of fact but modify the penalties imposed.
The facts as found by the Commission can be briefly stated. Pursuant to a complaint filed by Mr. and Mrs. Harry Blackwell, the Commission investigated the sale of a house at 506 West Burgess Street in Pittsburgh. Mrs. Beverly Gilmore, the owner, engaged Real to find a purchaser for her vacant residence. In May 1976, Reefer negotiated a sales agreement for the property with the Blackwells, and settlement was scheduled for August 17, 1976. Three weeks prior to
[ 47 Pa. Commw. Page 239]
closing, Mr. Blackwell, accompanied by Reefer, inspected the property and found it to be in satisfactory condition. On August 16, 1976, Mr. Blackwell contacted Jones and Reefer to procure the key to the house and arrange for a presettlement inspection. Both failed to make arrangements for Mr. Blackwell to obtain the key so that he might conduct a presettlement inspection.
Closing took place as scheduled, but the purchase money remained in escrow pending the results of a termite inspection and a survey. The termite inspection was conducted subsequent to the closing on the afternoon of August 17, 1976. At that time, Reefer, who was present during the inspection, noticed that a pipe in the basement was cut and that a panel on the door from the kitchen to the basement was broken so that the door could not be securely locked. That evening, Mrs. Gilmore called Reefer and hysterically informed him that the basement of the home had been extensively vandalized.*fn2 Reefer, after calming Mrs. Gilmore, called Jones and informed him of the developments. No further action was taken by Reefer with respect to the property or to contacting the Blackwells.
On August 18, 1976, without inspecting the property or calling the Blackwells, Jones obtained the release of the purchase money, the termite inspection and survey having been completed, and delivered the proceeds to Mrs. Gilmore. The Blackwells discovered the damage to the home upon taking possession of it that evening.
Based on these findings, the Commission adjudged Jones, Real, and Reefer guilty of a substantial misrepresentation for ...