(KMOV) – How would you feel if someone sold everything you own, but you didn’t get a dime, but instead were sent a bill?
It sounds outrageous, but it actually happened to a homeowner in St. Louis County.
When a 76-year-old retired teacher wanted to downsize, she hired an auction company to speed up the process.
“Everything in my house is gone,” says Margaret Davis.
Davis decided it was time to sell her home of 40 years and everything inside. She hired Mound City Auction to do the job. She says she sold an entire house of furniture and received a bill for $208.
Davis signed a contract, agreeing to pay the auctioneer 25 percent of the proceeds on her belongings. But her possessions weren’t sold for much. For example, an 18 karat god ring sold for $9.
Davis had already paid the company $1,500 to market her house, and the company also charged Davis another $1,500 for something called a “no sale fee,” because she wouldn’t let the company sell her home for less than $90,000 at auction.
That fee was subtracted from the $1,627 Mound City made by selling all of Davis’ items.
The Better Business Bureau says there’s a lesson learned in Davis’ story – to read the auction contract carefully.
Rob Weiman with Mound City told News 4 Investigative Reporter Chris Nagus that he can’t help it if Margaret’s belongings didn’t sell for more. He did say that he’s not going to charge Davis the $280 she owes.
In the end, Davis’ house still hasn’t sold, her belongings are gone, and it cost more than $3,000.
Next time around she says she’ll have a garage sale.
Weiman with Mound City says Davis was unrealistic about how much she wanted for her items. He says the company always provides customers with a written agreement that can be reviewed by an attorney.