Lawsuit against real estate agent to start
Jan 22,2008 00:00 by UPI

CARLSBAD, Calif. - A California home buyer who says she paid too much for her home sued her real estate agent, claiming the agent hid information to collect a larger commission.

Real estate lawyers and brokers say the case, which goes on trial Monday, probably would be the first of many in which buyers seek compensation from their agents who found their home and arranged its purchase, The New York Times reported Monday.

In her suit, Marty Ummel, 60, claimed her agent hid information that comparable homes in the neighborhood were selling for less because he feared he'd lose $30,000 in commission.

The defendant is Mike Little, a veteran real estate agent who argues that Ummel and her husband, Vernon, 71, are shifting blame because they failed to do their own research, the Times said.

Observers said the Ummel case raises questions about the exact legal obligations of people -- such as real estate agents -- in assisting their clients when the relationship is based on trust and for which there is no contract.

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