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Real estate disputes end in agent's favor

Whether dealing in high-end real estate in Florida or smaller, less-expensive residential properties, any number of issues may arise during the process of purchase or afterward that require specialized attention (and perhaps litigation) to resolve. Some real estate disputes go unresolved for weeks or months, especially when no outside legal support is sought. A high court jury in another state recently submitted a verdict in a particular case that was recently retried.  

The situation involved a multimillionaire who purchased a palatial property on the West Coast. The real estate agent employed by Coldwell Banker provided a brochure to the prospective buyer that listed the home's square footage at 15,000. He also reportedly gave the man an MLS listing of the mansion, which did not specify the home's size in square feet.  

The man wound up buying the property and, at some point, decided to do some renovation on a particular room. As he began the project, he apparently learned that the home was much smaller than he'd thought, with one estimate from a tax assessor's records listing it at 9,500 square feet. The man filed a lawsuit against the real estate agent and Coldwell Banker stating that a fiduciary duty existed and had been breached.  

The real estate disputes went through the litigation process with initial rulings agreeing that the real estate agent had breached a duty owed to the buyer. However, the case was recently retried in a state Supreme Court, and the jury's verdict came down in the agent's favor. Such issues are often highly complex; in this case, the problem seemed to be that certain regions within the same state used different guidelines to assess square footage. In Florida or elsewhere, it often helps to retain experienced legal representation before trying to resolve such matters in court. 

Source:, "Jury: Coldwell Banker real estate agent did not mislead buyer in mansion dispute", Marilyn Kalfus, April 5, 2018

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