Update: paid too much for their house

by Walter Olson on April 11, 2008

Following up on Jan. 22’s story from California: “It took a jury less than two hours Thursday afternoon to unanimously clear a real estate agent accused of failing in his duties to a couple he helped buy a tony Carlsbad home.” Marty and Vernon Ummel claimed that ReMax agent Mike Little had not kept them from overpaying for the house they bought with his help. (North County Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, Voice of San Diego).

{ 5 comments }

1 Anonymous Attorney 04.11.08 at 11:00 am

This could inspire other avenues of litigation in this topsy-turvy real estate market:

* Sued mortgage bank because it didn’t make clear enough that money would have to be paid back

* Sued realtor after property value dropped because realtor did not disclose possibility of that happening

* Sued realtor because property value went up, and now taxes are higher

2 Todd Rogers 04.11.08 at 1:11 pm

Would one of you fine people with “Esq” after your name please tell me how much it might cost to defend one’s self against such a claim? Are we talking about $20,000, $50,000, $100,000? Just the cost from the moment the client says, “I’ve got a problem, can you help me?” to the “Thank you for your business” letter.

This guy’s book of business is a whole different matter. He could probably spin it: “I’m so good even a civil jury thinks so”…or “You can count on my prices, just ask the Ummels.” But I would guess his real estate practice might well end here soon.

3 Anonymous Attorney 04.11.08 at 1:41 pm

Todd, the case in the post surely took no less than $50K to defend and could easily have cleared $200K.

4 Jay Thompson 04.11.08 at 2:36 pm

I would hope that Little counter-sued (if that’s the term) the Ummels for his legal expenses. As a real estate broker, I must say it would be interesting to get a ball-park estimates of the agent’s defense costs.

5 Alan Kellogg 04.11.08 at 9:04 pm

Everybody’s been over paying in this housing market.

Been following this story on the local (San Diego) news. When I heard the suit had been shot down my reaction was, “They couldn’t haggle?” Of course real estate agents are out to maximize their commission, expecting a flat out honest deal from a real estate agent is like expecting a coherent sentence out of a toddler. When it happens it’s a most singular occasion.

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