A “landmark lawsuit.”


North County Woman Sues Real Estate Agent

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.”

This entry was posted in Housing Bubble, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to A “landmark lawsuit.”

  1. I know on alot of the forums all the chatter was anxious to see the outcome of this. I don’t think the realtors are at fault they find the comparables but what a buyer should ask is what each house on the streets surrounding cost and take into account if there has been a recent boom in the area. Again another learning curve for the home buyer to consider when buying a home.

  2. Ann says:

    I wasn’t there, but let’s be real, some agents were guilty of saying outlandish things during this run up.

    I think it’s a good thing that some of them get sued, if only to make the rest of the industry realize that they have to be very careful what they say. Serves as a good lesson to everyone.

    Sounds like this agent was actually dishonest about the other prices in the neighborhood, that sounds like grounds to sue to me.

  3. BB says:

    I saw this couple on Today show last week. Absurd. Once again, people getting in over their heads & looking to place the blame on someone else. No one held a gun to their head & forced them to buy that house.

  4. t c m says:

    i agree with ann.

    even if these people were dumb about their purchase, i still believe that it can’t be open season on dummies in order to get a commission. – the stakes are too high, and the fallout is enormous. as we see, it affects all of us – even those who were not stupid – we now have to wait for home prices to come into line with reality, and bear the burden of higher national debt, all so that everyone along the way can make a commission.

    i think the industry should be treated more like the insurance industry and the investment industry. claims like: “now is the best time to buy – real estate never goes down etc.” or charts that show how to build wealth through homeownership should be scrutinized like a financial advisor’s claims and charts.

    i think this would be healthier for the economy, and it would weed out the dim witted realtors who rely on false claims to make a sale. honest and smart realtors, i believe, would benefit.

  5. 3b says:

    The commission is paid by the seller. Buyers need to remember that fundamental fact. Only buyers can protect and safeguard their best interest.

Comments are closed.