Friday, April 18, 2008 | The real estate agent in the notorious case of the Carlsbad couple Vern and Marty Ummel, Mike Little, actually did not do his due diligence for the Ummels if he was acting as a buyer’s broker. I often work as a buyer’s broker and always do a market analysis for my clients before they make an offer to purchase since I am working in the buyer’s best interest.
However, if I am working as a seller’s agent, I only owe fair and honest treatment to the buyer and should not do a market analysis as that would undermine the seller. When working as a seller’s agent it is your fiduciary to get the best price for the seller and it is the responsibility of the buyer to know market value of a property they intend to purchase. That is why a buyer hires a buyer broker so that their best interest is being represented instead of the sellers. In reading this article, it is not clear what the agency relationship was between Mr. Little and the Ummels.
In my opinion if he was hired as a buyer’s broker by the Ummels then he was wrong to not do a market analysis and the Ummels have good cause for their position of being misled and uneducated about the market values.