A North County woman who says she paid too much for her home, which she bought at the height of the housing boom, is taking her case to court.
In 2005, Marty Ummel and her husband bought a four-bedroom house in Carlsbad for $1.2 million. The Ummels say their agent was dishonest about the price of other homes in the neighborhood, and then rushed them to close the deal before the Ummels found out comparable houses on the same street sold for as much as $175,000 less.
She has now filed suit against her real estate agent, claiming fraud.
“We feel that we were misled. We feel disappointed. We do feel angry,” she said.
Ummel believes she has every right to be angry.
“We’ve worked hard and to think that we’ve done that our whole lives — and then for a realtor not to tell us about the biggest purchase of our lives — that there was a house selling for much less,” she said.
But in a deposition, an expert witness hired by the defense said of the Ummels: “They simply didn’t do what is expected of a knowledgeable sophisticated buyer, and are now looking for someone other than themselves to take responsibility.'”
Experts said the agent’s job obligation is simple.
“If they have information that is pertinent to their purchaser they should disclose it, but at the end of the day, the buyer is responsible for their own actions,” said Robert DeLeonardis, the former president of the Manhattan Association of Realtors.
People in the real estate industry are calling this a “landmark lawsuit.”