Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: After 3 Years in House, Buyers Sue their Realtor

After 3 Years in House, Buyers Sue their Realtor

Did you hear this story?  I saw it on The Today Show this morning.  These people in California bought the house back in 2005 and have decided that they paid too much for the house.  They're sueing the Realtor because he should have known they were paying too much, but they feel he just wanted the commission.  They also said that they felt the Realtor worked with the Appraiser to ensure it appraising for the high amount, because another property sold in the nieghborhood 6 months earlier for much less.

They had an MSNBC Analyst on the show with them to give another perspective.  I liked her!  She had great points.  Said things like a house's value is based on what the seller wants to sell for and the buyer wants to buy for.  If a buyer agrees to buy it for a certain amount, the buyer must think it's worth the price or they would have bought a different house for a different price.  Makes sense...

What I thought was funny was they turned to the husband and were like, You're not really a part of this are you?  His response was that he's her husband and he supports her efforts, but that he's just there as support.  That tells me that he thinks his wife is acting "silly" for lack of a better word.

Did anyone hear about this story?  What do you think?  Here's the link for the video of the interview.  And here's the link for the story if you don't want to play the video.

Comment balloon 18 commentsDonna Harris • January 25 2008 01:01PM


Donna, what's next? Unfortunately people are able to sue over any thing these days. Not sure where this buyer has been for the past three years, she must have missed the news that real estate has depreciated some what.
Posted by * Rate A Home (Rate A Home) about 11 years ago
I betty go hide under my couch then....if people like this are going to blame us for the decline of the housing market..what's next, stocks..and do we get more commission if the house increases in value...?..
Posted by Konnie Mac McCarthy, Broker/Owner - VA & MD "Time To Get A Move On!" (MacNificent Properties, LLC) about 11 years ago
Some people need to try to blame others for their bad decisions.  The market a few years ago was what it was.  I'm sure this woman wouldn't be willing to share her capital gains with her agent had the home continued to appreciate.  Why on Earth should anyone else be responsible for a declining market.
Posted by Gregory Maley, REALTOR, GRI, CBR, SHS, e-PRO, ABR (Sold Buy the Sea Realty & R.E.N.T.) about 11 years ago
Just someone trying to blame someone else for a decision THEY made. Some attorney helping her do this. I wonder what kind of leg he thinks he has to stand on in winning this case.
Posted by Cassie Hansley (Wilikinson and Associates) about 11 years ago
Donna, I've been reading it on the internet, but I will watch the video to see them in person. LOL
Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 11 years ago


Is this the same lady who sued McDonalds over hot coffee?

Posted by Scott Daniels Florida Real Estate 2.0. Agents Earn 100% Commission. (Florida List For Less Realty, Inc. Broker/Owner. ) about 11 years ago


Whether you agree with the lawsuit or not......This gives serious real estate agents an opportunity to tighten their business practices. I show my clients comps BEFORE writing an offer on a home.

In the future, I will have them initial and date all other listings in the neighborhood and COMPS for the subject property.

AR Community.....Let's don't use this as an opportunity to give the media more fuel to throw on our industry. Let's use it as an opportunity to improve our persona in the community.

Posted by David Patterson, ibdp3 about 11 years ago
I will agree there are a lot of bad agents out there but we do live in a very litigious society that takes no accountability. 
Posted by Joey Remondino, Broker, GRI, E-Pro (RE/MAX Preferred Properties) about 11 years ago

Duane, She's claiming that it has nothing to do with today's value, but that there were comps 3 years ago that they weren't told about. 

Konnie, that would be really cool if we got commission on increased values!

Gregory, Everyone is responsible for her actions... she point blank said that it was not her job to do due diligence.

Cassie, It's a very limp, crooked leg!

Missy, Just listening to her speak made me cringe.  She sounded like an ID-10-T.

Scott, Yes, I believe it's the same lady!  That coffee must have burnt some brain cells as well!

David, that is a very good idea to have buyers initial the page of comps so they can't say they never received them.

Joey, But it's not all about the agent even if you want to put some blame on him.  The lender's appraiser appraised the property to ensure the loan, so the house must have been valued that amount in many people's opinions.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 11 years ago
I would love to see how the case ends.  In California almost anything is possible.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) about 11 years ago

Donna, I wanted to get back to you after watching the video. She wants to be a trail blazer, oh my....

I actually thought the legal analysist did a great job. This woman buyer is nuts. I hope we hear the end result. So many facts left out of a short interview. Where was Their legal council?

I agree that if the house didn't have value the lender would not have approved the loan. Did they look at the appraisal ?

Thanks for linking to the video. 

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 11 years ago

Thanks for sharing the video.  There is an ActiveRain member who wrote about it who is a real estate agent in the same market, who is going to be a witness in the trial... I believe that is what she wrote last week... the AR member's  husband is an atty. so she was advised to only say so much about it... online.  

This woman sounds like a nut but there may be more to the story.  There have been appraisals that were not valid... 

The legal analyst did a great job, based on the information available. 

I also keep thinking, how fast was the market climbing in Southern California at the time? What % are the numbers she's using.  


Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) about 11 years ago

Missy, According to the home owner, it was not her responsibility because she hired an agent who had been in the business for 26 years and it was his job to explain everything to her and to her best interests (said tongue in cheek).

Maureen, Yes, it was annoying that they didn't say an actual number of value, only the number difference from other properties.  Do you remember who it was that posted about it?  I'll try to search all the many CA agents in that area.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - about 11 years ago

Margaret Hokkanen in Carlsbad. 

I read another article about this yesterday, that got featured on AR.  Horribly written block o' words... I knew I had read something straight forward, well laid out.

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) about 11 years ago

That is the same as filing a law suit against your stock broker because the stocks went down and you feel that you paid too much for them 3 years ago..

Posted by Joseph Skinner, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Skinner & Associates Realty) about 11 years ago

The lawsuit is over, and they found in favor of the Realtor! Here's the verdict.


Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - almost 11 years ago
Yes, I heard it was over and the Realtor won.  Thank God! Boy, would that have opened the flood gates!
Posted by LaNita Cates (REMAX of Joliet) almost 11 years ago
Oh my gosh....remind me why we all still want to stay in our chosen careers are Realtors, lol. We simply can NOT dot enough I's and cross enough T's these days, it seems.  Just the thought that someone would do that is pitiful!  I'm so glad the ruled in favor of the Realtor. Crazy business, lately. We are all earning every penny we make! 
Posted by Elizabeth Cooper-Golden, Huntsville AL MLS (Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group)) almost 11 years ago