The Housing Chronicles Blog: Jury says buyers responsible for real estate decisions

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Jury says buyers responsible for real estate decisions

A couple of months ago there was an important lawsuit by the buyers of a home in Carlsbad who insisted that their real estate agent didn't tell them the home they bought was overpriced. The case went to trial, with the jury deliberating for only two hours before deciding that, like many other things, buying real estate is truly caveat emptor, or 'buyer beware.' From a North County Times story as noted on the L.A. Land blog:

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...

After about a week of testimony at the Vista courthouse, the panel of 10 women and two men rejected Marty and Vernon Ummels' arguments that they overpaid $150,000 for their home near the Four Seasons Resort Aviara.

The Ummels say that the $1.2 million price tag for the upscale coastal Carlsbad home they bought in 2005 could not be justified, especially when other houses on the street were selling for much less ---- vital information the couple said they didn't get until after the close of escrow.

The Ummels said Little had failed them and thus owed them the amount they felt they overspent.

But the jury found that Little had not breeched his responsibility to the couple as their agent, nor had he been negligent.

"Mr. Little did what he was supposed to do," jury forewoman Wendi Brick said. "The bottom line is that you (as a buyer) are responsible when you sign a contract and purchase something."

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