A recent case out of Sarasota, Florida has everyone re-visiting the age old question - "can I trust my real estate agent?" Another better question might be - "why should I trust my real estate agent?" Recently in Sarasota a seller and a prospective buyer of the the property teamed up to sue Coldwell Banker and the agent. Why? Because the prospective buyer made an offer $500,000 over asking price on a gorgeous waterfront home near the Sarasota Yacht Club. The seller and prospective buyer allege that the realtor never showed the contract to the seller, his client. Why wouldn't a realtor be interested in an offer $500,000 above listing price? Simple, he had another lower offer where he stood to receive both sides of the commission because that buyer didn't have a realtor. Let's do the math. In the deal the realtor presented to his client, that his client ultimately accepted, the contract was for $4m, but the realtor received 6% commission or $240,000. In the deal the realtor allegedly didn't present to his client the contract was for $4.5m but the realtor would have to split the $270,000 commission receiving $135,000 for his share. The basic idea behind the lawsuit is that the realtor hid the better offer from his client because he would make $105,000 less then in the smaller deal. Of course, his client made $470,000 less for the sale of his house which is the issue. This begs the question, why isn't there a higher duty owed from realtor to client? Moreover, why is it so easy to become a realtor with essentially very few requirements outside of passing an easy test? Florida is rife with real estate fraud and realtors that either have no clue what they're doing or are just cheating clients.
Florida's real estate model needs to change to protect consumers. The lawyers at our firm are also licensed realtors so if you are looking to sell your property contact us. Not only will you save money as we will charge less than a conventional realtor, but you will have the expertise of a lawyer behind you.