In 2008, right before the housing market crashed, a middle-aged couple in Carlsbad, California sued their real estate agent for misrepresenting their home’s value. They bought the home for $1.2 million at the height of the housing boom, but the housing market crash was soon to follow and many homes in their neighborhood were selling for up to $100,000 less than theirs. Marty Ummel originally accused his realtor, Mike Little, of misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary responsibility, and fraud, but later retracted two of the complaints and just filed for breach of fiduciary responsibility. Within two hours of hearing each party’s side of the story, the jury came back with a “not guilty” verdict for Mr. Little.
Despite the fact that Mike Little was found not guilty of any of the charges brought against him by the Ummels, his real estate career was essentially ruined. As a real estate agent in California – no matter if the market is high or low – you need to be extra careful when making real estate deals, as buyers can sue for any number of reasons, frivolous or not. Though you may already understand real estate law, because of the amount of money at stake in a real estate transaction, it is always best to have a real estate lawyer on retainer, if only to protect yourself from frivolous suits such as the one Mr. Little had to deal with.
Why You Can Get Sued as a Real Estate Agent
Hire a Real Estate Attorney
At Garcia & Gurney, ALC, our business lawyers aim to protect the rights of employees, employers, and clients in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our experienced real estate attorneys work with realtors to ensure that all of their real estate endeavors go smoothly and successfully. To speak to a Pleasanton real estate lawyer today, contact us at 925-468-0400 or online to schedule a consultation today.
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