Thursday, January 24, 2008

Buyer's Remorse

A couple displeased with the collapse of the real estate boom are now suing their real estate agent:

Marty Ummel feels she paid too much for her house. So do millions of other people who bought at the peak of the housing boom.

What makes Ms. Ummel different is that she is suing her agent, saying it was all his fault.

Ms. Ummel claims that the agent hid the information that similar homes in the neighborhood were selling for less because he feared she would back out and he would lose his $30,000 commission.

Real estate lawyers and brokers say the case, which goes to trial in North County Superior Court on Monday, is likely to be the first of many in which regretful or resentful buyers seek redress from the agents who found them a home and arranged its purchase.

“When your house appreciates $100,000 in the first six months, you’re not quite as concerned that maybe the valuation was $25,000 or $50,000 off,” said Clifford Horner of the law firm Horner & Singer. “But when your house goes down, you ask: ‘Who might have led me astray here?’ ”

I wonder what they would have thought if the boom continued and their broker (or the seller of the house) tried to sue them?

Maybe renting isn't such a bad idea after all?

For the first time in over 50 years, the median price of American homes is expected to fall this year.  (Watch this New York Times video report for more on this.)

(HT Tyler Cowen)

1 comment:

Kevin said...

I may not be the sharpest pencil in the draw, but it seems to me that things were just a little out-of-whack for a few years and maybe these purchasers had just a little unrealistic expectations ... maybe?