The verdict is in! Below is an outline of the jury's verdict to this case. Any thoughts?
"Friday, April 11, 2008
Brought to you by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
REALTORÂ® WINS HIGH PROFILE JURY TRIAL
After only two hours of deliberation yesterday, the jury unanimously vindicated a buyer's agent accused by his clients of failing to disclose that two other homes in the neighborhood sold for less than what they paid. As a trial court case, this decision in Ummel v. Little is binding on the parties to the case, but has no binding authority for other cases. Moreover, the buyers may file an appeal.
This case involved a couple who bought a home in a coastal Carlsbad community in 2005 for $1.2 million. They regretted their purchase when they discovered that two other homes sold for about $150,000 less than theirs. They sued their real estate agent for negligent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty. Their lawsuit grabbed national attention, given the recent downturn in the real estate market.
At the trial, the agent's attorney argued that there were valid reasons these two other properties sold for less. One home, for example, had a lap pool which was unappealing to many buyers, and the sellers wanted to rent back the home for two years."
All the best,
~ jordan elias
What sucks is that this woman is an administrator at my alma mater... makes me wonder about the intellect of the staff/ faculty... grrr.
1. I really don't like the idea of a a buyer's agent who also is the mortgage broker on the deal. I fault the agent but also the buyer on this one for going along with it.
2. Appraisal is an approximation, not a scientific equation. I think a range of value of 10% is not indicative of deception, especially in a shifting market. I think it is a standard deviation within the norm.
3. The fact that the buyers "dismissed one agent and canceled deals on two houses" leads me to believe that they may be demanding buyers with unrealistic expectations.
4. Somehow we perceive stocks as liquid assets that go up and down in value and real estate as not so liquid but it always goes up in value. Real estate is an illiquid asset that goes up and down.
Without knowing all the facts, it seems to me that they buyers are blaming the agent for market conditions. I don't like the fact that they sued the appraiser, the mortgage broker, and now the agent and the real estate firm. They apparently believe that everyone was out to get them.
I hope that this is not the start of a trend.
A set of Buyers are suing the Realtor who sold them a home at the height of the market, claiming he misled them into thinking the home was worth more than it's value.
The Realtor also acted as the mortgage broker, and the previous owner was a Realtor.
I may be opening a can of worms here, but I'm fishing to hear other's thoughts on this issue. I don't think this will be an isolated incident for long!