I can look at this two ways. Case one Rita is the owner of the property which is listed wrong and case two Rita is the potential buyer of a home listed wrong by another agent.
Lets look at option one. The agent has listed the home only and from this stand point he/she has not bought the home. Rita is still the owner of the property in question. How the hell is the agent going to have title to this house from just listing the property wrong and have legal right to sell the property to the original owner for the 14.5k. If the agent is not changing the price in the mls then this is a different story, but according to the "question" at hand here you are asking if you can sell it for the incorrect price listed and then try to sue for the difference as damages. Technically if you sell him the house at this price then you are to blame for not getting a higher price you wanted from the agent/buyer. You still own the house!
Now lets look into option two. Just because a house is listed for a wrong price does not make it automatically sold. If you look at disclaimers at the bottom of mls it says something along the lines of , "all information provided considered accurate, but not guaranteed. Also, you would have to sign the purchase and sale agreement according to the terms in a written offer. A contract has to be in writing, offered and accepted to be considered valid and enforceable in a court of law. Just cause it is written wrong in the MLS does not mean it is written wrong in the exclusive listing contract.
On another note, do you know that if a house is listed for 150,000 and you offer the owner 160,000---the owner does not have to sell it to you? It is up to the homeowner to decide whether or not to accept your offer.
First, Century 21 can't sell you the house. They don't own it. John and Mary Smith own the house, and Century 21 is incapable of forcing John and Mary Smith to sell the house to you.
Second, if you sue for damages--as the others point out--what are your damages? Likely, nothing.
Third, you're assuming that the gap between $14,490 and $144,900 is the amount of your . . . not damages, but justifiable compensation. But who's to say the house really would sell for $144,900? Have you made an offer on the house? Likely not.
Fourth, just a personal quibble: There's a reason the "CAPS" key is on your keyboard. It's to capitalize words such as "Can," "I," Realtor, "Century," and so on. And I won't even get into the grammatical errors. Think clearly. Speak clearly. Communicate clearly.
i don't get a kick out of sueing people. i am an honest person. i just wanted to know what the rest of the public would advise.......lmao
too bad it wasn't for that price, cause it was a beautiful home, and some unfortunate person would have loved to own it for that price these days with the economy situation.
it's like buying something in a store that was priced wrong, they do have to honor the price as advertised. how many times have you insisted that the wrong price be honored? hmmm...think about it
What's your case, other than, you'd like to buy a home for 10% of market value?
The realtor is not selling the home, the homeowner is. You can't force a homeowner to sell their home to you if they don't want to. You can't ask for damages unless you have a fully executed contract. If you look at most publicly posted property listing information, you will likely find the phrase,
"All data subject to ERRORS, OMISSIONS, or REVISIONS and is NOT WARRANTED."
or something similar. There is always some kind of a disclaimer.
Real estate does not work the same way as retail. If there is an error in a store ad, the store manager will usually make a price adjustment to satisfy a customer. In real estate, the agent or brokerage does not own the property. The sellers must agree to the offer that is presented in order for the house to be sold. If you offer $14, 490 for a house that should be listed for $144, 900, the sellers do not legally have to accept your offer. They are not bound to anyone with whom they are not under contract, and they will probably be offended. In fact, even if you offer list price or over, but the terms are unfavorable, they do not have to accept your offer.
I am an honest, hard-working agent, and I have chosen my occupation to help people and to make a living at the same time. Most of us are not rich. We have families, and we work hard just like anyone else out there. I do not spend my time thinking of ways to cash in at the expense of others, and I am somewhat surprised that anyone else would have the time and energy to spend doing just that.
Why do so many want to sue people right away?
Rita - just curous - did you ever make a mistake or perhaps a typo?
Hope no one ever sues you.
This just in - Century 21 will be filing suit against you for not capitalizing the "C".
That being said. If the agent did not make a typo and put in the wrong price to get calls like a "bait and switch" and you could prove it, you may be able to get them on false advertising. I don't think that was the case here.
There is no way you can sue and get the house for the 14,900. I can't imagine a judge ruleing in your favor.
Remember, the Seller does not have to agree with the price you offered for the home (especially if it is nearly 100k lower than what was intended. It is un-fortunate the error was not caught sooner, sounds like the Listing Agent has some explaining to his Client.
Best of luck,
The simple answer is that you can sue anyone for anything. Whether you can find a lawyer who is willing to file a suit on something that is obviously a typing error, and if you did, whether you would prevail in a court of law is the larger question. And, as Tony says, "only a lawyer can really answer your question."
If you do not have a lawyer, I'm happy to refer you to three good ones up here in the mountains.
Purely out of curiosity, I have a question: Did you find the listing at the low price in Trula? Or someplace else?
The reason I'm asking is that checked the MLS and none of the $144,900 Century 21 listings that I can find were entered into the MLS at $14,490. That makes me think that the data was probably entered incorrectly in Trulia. If my research is accurate, then I'm thinking that you might want to make an attorney aware of that fact in discussing the viability of your case.
Real estate listing mistakes are very common, much more common than some may think, and when they occur and have to be reported by a consumer the referral for that Realtor or agent becomes smudged.
Realtors and agents need to be careful out there in the world that we live in today. Insurance can only go so far for them. Their professionalism is always at risk and their core product (the listing information itself) needs to be handled such that it can make or break their career.
I have spoken with numerous real estate agents about this exact topic of poor quality listing information and have been met with passionate responses. Don't be the lazy Realtor out there not checking your product for bad information, it can give you a bad name, your brokerage and the entire industry - let alone cost yourself and brokerage thousands and thousands of dollars.
Real Estate Agents have "Errors and Omissions" insurance to protect them in a situation like this anyway.
Get a life buddy.
you bring up an excellant point which is, "Is a real estate professional, or anyone for that matter, responsible for information appearing in aggregate websites of which the originator has no control?"
Usually a real estate agent enters data into the local MLS. The MLS then sends this information to Realtor.com, then on to Trulia, Zillow and nearly countless websites, many of which a real estate agent has no knowledge of.
Then Realtor.com and Trulia strips the agent informaton from the data they received and compels the real estate agent to PAY to have the agent information restored! Some aggregate web sites actually CHANGE the description section.
Clearly, the data displayed by these aggregate websites IS altered for their financial benefit.
Who should be held responsible for data appearing on websites where the content has been modified without the originators consent or knowledge?
Rita, I woud advise that reliable information is only available through those closest to the subject. That would be your local real estate agent. Those who choose to rely on Trulia and Zillow have, wether they know it or not, elected to make decisions based on data for which no one will assume any responsiblity. Contact your local real estate agent to get information that you can rely on.
You can curse at them if you want.
It's nice to see this from the consumers perspective.
I frequently get calls on rental properties that somebody has picked up as a for sale or for some reason the fields didn't match up when it uploaded from one place to the next and a rental was picked up a sale. I was incredulous that people really believed someone was "giving" their house away, and did not realize this was an entry error of some type.
I read the entire thread and have picked up copyrite instead of copyright, lots of folks picked up on the "C-21" thing and I know that there were several more, but my point is we all make boo boos. Technology helps but it even creates some issues for us.
Our MLS has " Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed", but Trulia feeds from lots of different sources, not just MLS. I looked for a disclaimer on Trulia, but could not find one. Maybe they should put a disclaimer on the "for sales"
They say you can sue for anything. Doesn't mean you will win. But if you do, let us know how it turns out!
Maybe the house should be priced at $14,490, and buyers would possibly bid it up to way over 144,900! (Remember Rita, that price was the LIST price, not the selling price, and you would be competing with others to buy it - not like mismarked boxes of crackers that are piled in the store's inventory ).
Isn't this how many auctions on Ebay work? Some items are listed at a ridiculous $.99, and wind up selling for 10 or 20 times that!
Well, it was just a thought, although underpricing a home, can still result in a higher selling price!
The idea that Trulia made a "typo" is amusing, too - I can just see it now, some little employee locked in a room, inputting the thousands of listings as they come in.......pretty good if he or she only made this one "error" ha
You are on the right track by asking about the Broker, since that is where the mistake probably took place - data entry. The seller is probably indemnified several times over, so actually getting a house is out of the question.
They don't re-type the listings when they come in... they don't have the staff to re-input thousands upon thousands of listings. Emily, Rudy, et al, must be shaking in their boots at a thought like that.
Sounds like whomever you talked to was attempting to shift blame. As for forcing them to honor the advertised price. Real Estate agencies don't have the same policy as Target, and K-mart... it was a typo, and you can't force them to sell for the advertised price. It's a nice thought, but if that were the case, we could put RealtyTrac out of business for advertising all those $1 homes.
I believe if this ever got to court a judge would have to use the standard of a "sane and reasonable man" and rule that the property was not being offered for that and that a sane and reasonable man would realise that the price printed was a scriveners error.