A jury ruled against the Carlsbad, Calif., couple who sued their real estate agent for fraud and negligence, claiming his actions caused them to overpay by approximately $150,000 for the home they purchased in 2005. Marty and Vernon Ummel claimed their buyer’s agent withheld information that similar homes in the neighborhood were selling for less than the home they eventually bought for $1.2 million. The jury found that the agent “executed a reasonable standard of care” when he showed the Ummels more than 80 homes in 2005 prior to the couple’s purchase, Voice of San Diego reports.
When news of the lawsuit broke in January, some real estate lawyers predicted that a ruling against the real estate agent might trigger more lawsuits against REALTORS® from homeowners saddled with shrinking home values.
David Bright, the agent’s defense attorney, said, “I think REALTORS® are scapegoats for a declining market. There are always people out there who will blame someone for something that is beyond their control.”