Cohen says they complained to Coldwell Banker about the way the transaction was handled, but that he was directed back to Pettingell, something Cohen contends shows Coldwell Banker’s failure to appropriately supervise its agents.
“I might have been manipulated out of the house,” he said. “But they (the Davenports) were certainly manipulated out of a lot of money. That’s outrageous.”Cohen said he plans to file an ethics complaint against Pettingell, but that the process, in his opinion, is heavily weighted in favor of real estate agents.
“However, what I can say is that the allegations that have been made do not have merit and I am confident that I will be vindicated through the legal process of any alleged wrong doing.”
Barry Cohen, the buyer who lost out on the property, accuses Pettingell of manipulating the sellers into choosing a buyer Pettingell also represented so that he received both sides of a commission involving a $4.6 million property, plus $200,000 for the furniture. Cohen ultimately did buy that property on Spoonbill Drive in the Bird Key neighborhood for $6.5 million, according to property records. Combined with fees and commissions, Cohen paid $6.89 million for the property, according to the lawsuit. The damages that Cohen alleges in his suit include the difference in price between what he would have paid for the property on Royal Flamingo Drive and what he ultimately paid for the property on Spoonbill Drive, he said.
“We subscribe to that code of ethics to make sure that buyers and sellers have all the information and for them to be able to make the best decisions,” Krumm said. “In almost every case, that happens.”
Sarasota’s luxury real estate market caught fire shortly after lockdowns were lifted in the state, resulting in multiple offers for multi-million dollar properties throughout the area.Alex Krumm, the president of the Realtor’s Association of Sarasota and Manatee, said all Realtors are required to follow a code of ethics that has been around for more than 100 years.
Cohen said that Pettingell then found another house on Bird Key that he could buy for $6.5 million, but that he would have to pay both the commission for his Realtor and also a commission to Pettingell.
The lawsuits revolve around whether Pettingell provided full disclosure over the offers for the property and whether he acted honestly and fairly in the transaction, requirements for licensed real estate agents under Florida law.Salaverri is also a Coldwell Banker real estate agent out of the downtown Sarasota office. Pettingell operates out of Coldwell Banker’s Longboat Key office.
Pettingell’s percentage of such transactions was not out of the norm among the top 20 real estate agents in Sarasota. Some had as high as 36.9% of their transactions involving both buyer and seller. Two agents out of the top 20 had no “both sides” deals.
The Herald-Tribune requested any complaints filed against Pettingell’s real estate license from the Department of Business and Professional Regulations. There were no complaints on file, according to an agency spokesman.Prominent Sarasota real estate agent Roger Pettingell and Coldwell Banker Realty have been sued over a $4.8 million transaction on Bird Key by both a potential buyer and the property’s seller, according to lawsuits filed in Broward County.
Cohen said his Realtor, Georgia Salaverri, told Pettingell that inspection clause could be waived if the seller required, before he spoke with the Davenports.
He said that complaints against a Realtor regarding breaking the code of ethics can result in discipline up to expulsion from the group. Pettingell is a member of the RASM.However, Krumm maintained that in the vast majority of real estate transactions in Sarasota, all offers are disclosed and the best offer is ultimately chosen by the seller. He said he believes that real estate agents representing both sides of a transaction happens more often than people understand. That can be a problem, he said. Cohen told the Herald-Tribune he and his wife were enamored with the property and made an offer with an escalation clause in the contract that would have matched any offer up to $5 million.
For years Pettingell has been the top real estate agent in the Sarasota region. Last year, he eclipsed $175 million in closed transactions. He and Coldwell Banker Realty, a named party in the lawsuit, deny the accusations.
The attorney representing the sellers, who have filed a lawsuit seeking damages in excess of $30,000, plus a return of the commission, did not respond to an attempt to discuss the lawsuit.
However, when they learned that their offer was not chosen and that an offer less than $5 million was selected, he decided to drive to the property to see if anything could be done.
His attorney presented statistics on the number of “both-sides” transactions among the top 20 Sarasota-area real estate agents. According to the attorney’s information, Pettingell represented both buyer and seller in 22 transactions, about 29.1% of his deals.
“I have built my business and reputation on a solid foundation of always acting ethically, professionally, and with integrity,” Pettingell said in a written statement to the Herald-Tribune. “Anyone can file a lawsuit and make unproven allegations. In my 35 years in the business I have never had an ethics complaint or a lawsuit filed against me. It is incredibly disappointing that I now find myself in this situation and because there is a pending lawsuit, I am not at liberty to comment in the way that I would like.
He said Realtors must present all offers, but that there is no requirement to present all offers in a particular format, although, he did say in his opinion that best practice would be to do so in some type of written format.Pettingell told the Davenports, according to their lawsuit, another offer was “the cleanest” and that an inspection clause in Cohen’s offer would allow them to withdraw should an issue with the property be found.
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Pettingell believes it is important for sellers to work with a reputable brokerage firm like Coldwell Banker Global Luxury, due to its international and domestic connections. Pettingell is part of Coldwell Banker’s International Luxury Alliance Network, a syndicate of luxury property marketing agents hailing from all over the U.S. and Europe.“I really do feel there’s a second wave of buyers coming from the international markets that we haven’t had access to in the last year because of pandemic travel restrictions,” Roger Pettingell says that “The Sarasota market is a lifestyle choice. Most of the people I’m working with are not buying their homes as an investment to flip where they need to get in at the lowest price and sell at the highest. They’re making an investment in their life. They’re buying a second home or relocating their primary residence to Florida and setting up a place where their family can gather.”
A significant proportion of real estate brokers depend on old-school, traditional tools and methods to promote their property listings. Pettingell, on the other hand, strongly prefers new technology and intelligent applications to more accurately target and market to his audience groups. In his earliest days in the real estate business, Pettingell was first in his office to want his own computer. Today, Pettingell regularly attends real estate technology events, utilizes social media to communicate with potential buyers, and advertises his listings on a range of different websites. He also maintains his own vlog, REALTALK™ with Roger Pettingell that features detailed video listings and real estate advice.
“One might suggest [that these days] you need a real estate agent less,” Roger Pettingell said, “but I would argue you need a better real estate agent more than ever; what you really want in a market like this is an explosive introduction for each listing because you know people out there are already looking. You want to get it to the largest number of these buyers in order to get the best price and the best terms for the seller.”Pettingell says at least some of his recent success is due to his ability to generate considerable interest in luxury listings, a skill his experience as a veteran real estate agent has taught him well. Roger Pettingell is once again the top-ranked luxury real estate agent for Coldwell Banker in the state of Florida, and for 2021, he’s surpassed his own $175 million sales record for 2020 by almost $25 million. Recording $206 million worth of property sales in the last year, Pettingell added to his stunning lifetime total of $2 billion in real estate transactions during his 30-plus years in the real estate business. Over the course of this period, Pettingell acknowledges he’s learned numerous lessons about sales of luxury properties, a few of which he’s able to share with residents of Sarasota. With the current market and rising insurance rates, many are prioritizing new builds, which she said is difficult in such a built-out area. Many have to buy a lot, tear down the existing structure and wait two years or more to build a new home. When new builds hit the market, she said they’re selling quickly.The home has a full backup generator, elevator, two Tesla car chargers in the garage and a retractable pool cover. The estate is less than a mile from the Bird Key Yacht Club and is 4 miles from downtown Sarasota. Fox said an open layout with “full views spilling out to the terrace” set the home apart for buyers.
The sale for the home, located at 626 S Owl Drive, closed on June 1, according to a deed filed in Sarasota County. The buyers were H. Lee Scott Jr. and Linda Scott, and the sellers were Dawn and Henry Duques. The home is 6,576 square feet, and the sale price breaks down to approximately $1,710 per square foot.
“It’s in one of the best neighborhoods; Bird Key is a very popular destination in Sarasota,” Fox said. “This buyer was particularly zeroed in on Bird Key, and it was an almost brand new house; it was completed in 2021. It’s built to very high standards.”The home was on the market for 15 days, and Fox said they had a big turnout for showings from outside buyers and other residents of Bird Key wanting to move to a larger lot. She said they had another offer almost simultaneously due to a newer build not being on the market in the neighborhood in “quite some time.”Susan Fox and Jonathan Fox of Compass Florida represented the sellers. Roger Pettingell of Coldwell Banker Realty represented the buyers. Susan Fox told the Tampa Bay Business Journal the deal set a record as the highest sale price for a home in Bird Key.
“Sarasota is drawing upper-end buyers from all over the world,” Fox said. “We’re still much less expensive — we’re a bargain compared to Naples or many places on the East Coast. And the city offers so much, people love it.”
The two-story home has five bedrooms and eight bathrooms. According to the listing, the house has water views from all main rooms with large, covered terraces on both levels.Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the worldHighlights from a week-long virtual event bringing Bloomberg Businessweek magazine to life. Carol Massar and Tim Stenovec host a look back at the best interviews, discussions and more.
Sie können Ihre Einstellungen jederzeit ändern, indem Sie auf unseren Websites und Apps auf den Link „Datenschutz- und Cookie-Einstellungen“ oder „Datenschutz-Dashboard“ klicken. Weitere Informationen darüber, wie wir Ihre personenbezogenen Daten nutzen, finden Sie in unserer Datenschutzerklärung und unserer Cookie-Richtlinie.Klicken Sie auf „Alle ablehnen“, wenn Sie nicht möchten, dass wir und unsere Partner Cookies und personenbezogene Daten für diese zusätzlichen Zwecke verwenden.Cohen was obviously outraged by the behaviour. Cohen and Davenport are suing Pettingell and Coldwell Banker, alleging all the offers were not presented fairly and Pettingell “denigrated the other four offers, including the Cohen contract, stating they were inferior.”
B.C. bringing in vaccine passport for non-essential services The province will start Sept. 13 to introduce the B.C. Vaccine Card. British Columbia is …Read More
Pettingell “advocated” for the offer from the winning bidder and claimed it was the cleanest. Pettingell did not advise the Davenports that Cohen agreed to waive the inspection period in their original offer. Pettingell told the seller about the offers over the phone and did not present the written versions to Davenport.
Cohen, who ended up buying another multi-million-dollar Sarasota home through Pettingell, is seeking damages but says he also came forward to alert other sellers and buyers.Since Pettingell was the transaction broker for the winning bidder and the seller, they were entitled to double the commission, he and Coldwell Banker collected the entire six percent commission of about $276,000.
Cohen said after he realized what happened, he complained to Coldwell Banker but no one seemed to care. What was very disappointing to us as we went through the process is there was no oversight.It’s advisable that sellers make sure they see everything in writing, especially during the current market that has involved so many multiple offers. Everything has to be presented to the seller. Nothing can be hidden from the seller.
Barry Cohen and his wife were positive the waterfront home on West Royal Flamingo Drive in Sarasota was their dream house, and they were willing to pay for it. But when their offer of $500,000 over the $4.5 million list price was rejected, they were so surprised that Cohen went looking for answers from the owner.
“Most E&O Insurance policies will provide a sublimit for reputation restoration,” Bauldrick said. “In real estate, your reputation is your business. It is an ethical, trust-based business and you want to be cleared of any wrongdoing in the event that something goes wrong. The way you can do that is by having the proper insurance coverage.”The increase in competition in the market … means you have multiple individuals interested in the same house and it can turn into a bidding war. If somebody thinks they were slighted in some way, they could decide to sue.
This thought leadership article and others like it are accessible to subscribed members only. To view this article, please provide the following information.“Outright fraud is not the most common type of lawsuit, but unethical behavior exists in the real estate world, as in many other professions, and can be further exacerbated by a commission-based incentive structure.”
If a third party lost money or was forced to pay additional funds stemming from an error or omission on the part of a real estate professional, those would be considered E&O claims.
“If they are found to be liable and the result is a full limit loss, it could cost them quite a bit going forward as well,” she said. “If you have a $1 million policy and the insurance pays out that full amount, the real estate agent could also end up paying exponentially more in premium next year when it comes time to renew their insurance coverage.” “In a real estate market that is booming, you will probably find more cases like this,” said Rahmad Bauldrick, Director, Professional Liability, Regional Practice Group Leader, Burns & Wilcox, Chicago, Illinois. “The increase in competition in the market, where there are more buyers than inventory, means you have multiple individuals interested in the same house and it can turn into a bidding war. If somebody thinks they were slighted in some way, they could decide to sue.” Still, “we would counsel against even smaller real estate agents going without insurance,” Martin said. “Professional Liability products are always changing, so it is best practices for an agent/agency to have an experienced retail insurance broker who will partner with them to seek out the best coverage.”According to a Sept. 2 report by Canadian housing news outlet Better Dwelling, the Real Estate Council of Ontario recently warned that some agents were illegally “steering” clients to homes that would involve a higher sales commission. Fines for this activity can range from $50,000 to $100,000 or result in license revocation.Real Estate Agents E&O Insurance could also help agents rebuild their reputation after they are accused of wrongdoing, Bauldrick pointed out. This can include covering the cost of public relations services, for example.
On Sept. 16, a couple in Dobbs Ferry, New York, filed a lawsuit against their real estate agents and broker, alleging that they were manipulated into selling their Connecticut rental home for less than it was worth, the Westchester & Farfield County Business Journals reported. The couple reportedly accuses the agents of seeking subsequent transactions with the buyer, who wanted to “flip” the property.
In his lawsuit, would-be buyer Barry Cohen claims his offer on the waterfront property was $400,000 higher than the winning bid and that both offers waived the inspection period, WFLA-TV reported. He is seeking the difference in price between his offer and what he eventually spent on a different home purchase. The sellers have also filed a lawsuit and seek damages of more than $30,000 in addition to the return of commission fees paid. Pettingell, a top-performing agent in the area, has denied the claims and told the Herald-Tribune in a statement that he believes he will be vindicated through the legal process.
E&O Insurance policies are generally affordable for agents but premium financing may be available for those concerned about the cost. For many real estate agents, the impact of a single large, uninsured loss would be devastating.
New technology in the industry may eventually change or add to the risks real estate agents face. According to a CNBC report published Sept. 17, many real estate firms are increasing their use of artificial intelligence to help agents with property values, home searching and more. In all types of real estate relationships, contracts are essential, Bauldrick emphasized. These should define the agent’s obligations and address potential issues such as dual agency, in which a single agent represents the buyer and seller.Alleged real estate ethics violations are a prime example of why real estate agents should carry Real Estate Agents Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance, which is designed to cover financial losses resulting from an agent’s actions. Today’s hot real estate market, in the Sarasota area and nationally, could increase an agent’s chances of facing a lawsuit.
“Risk management procedures should be in place and reviewed regularly, including file management systems and continuing education,” Martin noted. “They should stay up to date on the latest in their field,” she said. “This can help mitigate future errors and omissions issues.”“What nearly all of these policyholders have in common is that their E&O policy is now viewed as an indispensable asset to sustaining their business operations in the face of potential legal action. They have learned that the insurance more than pays for itself even after one claim and can keep their doors open during troubling times,” Martin added. Real estate agents should know that E&O Insurance generally covers negligence but usually excludes criminal and fraudulent conduct. Some policies will include “final adjudication” wording that allows the policy to continue defending their policyholder until the appeals process has been exhausted”, Martin noted. “In this case, if you are found to be criminally liable at outset, settlement of the claim itself would be excluded,” she said. “However, if there is an appeal, their insurance carrier could continue to foot the bill for defense, and if the final adjudication finds them not criminally liable, they may be able to bring the insurance carrier back in to settle that lawsuit.” A real estate agent and realty company are being sued for their handling of a $4.6 million home sale in Sarasota, Florida. According to a report in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, a man who wanted to buy the Bird Key neighborhood property but whose offer was not chosen is accusing real estate agent Roger Pettingell and Coldwell Banker Realty of manipulating the sellers into accepting a lower bid because it was from a buyer Pettingell also represented and would mean he could collect both sides of the commission.
According to the RE/MAX National Housing Report for August 2021, published on Sept. 17, the U.S. real estate market remains near record highs but shows some possible signs of cooling, with median sale prices dropping 1.2% compared to July. Sales totals in August were still the second highest in the report’s 13-year history, the real estate franchise reported. In Canada, the real estate market could also be slowing down slightly, CBC News reported on Sept. 15, with August sales up 13% from last year but lower than peak levels seen in March 2021.
It is an ethical, trust-based business and you want to be cleared of any wrongdoing in the event that something goes wrong. The way you can do that is by having the proper insurance coverage. In real estate, these lawsuits could stem from administrative mistakes, missing permits, failing to execute a contract properly, or omitting a detail that ends up voiding a sale or costing a buyer or seller more money in the transaction. Deadlines are another key factor; if a real estate agent does not act in a timely manner, for example, a client could lose their earnest money deposit as a result. Even if the agent is found not liable, legal defense alone could cost tens of thousands of dollars, Martin said. If an agent is liable, the full cost could vary widely, especially on a high-value transaction.
“With E&O policies, the trigger is a third party claiming financial loss,” Martin explained. “If a third party lost money or was forced to pay additional funds stemming from an error or omission on the part of a real estate professional, those would be considered E&O claims.”
“Especially if you are smaller, E&O Insurance is so important. If you make $100,000 in commission in one year, one bad claim could account for $25,000 — eating up a quarter of your revenues for the entire year,” Martin said. “The result could be a loss of personal assets, or possible default on other financial obligations, especially if this is your sole source of income. In the Excess & Surplus lines market, we often come across troubled risks that have seen claims in the past.”
“When a real estate agent is accused of self-dealing and/or not acting with their client’s best interests in mind, these lawsuits can get quite ugly and expensive to defend,” said Melissa Martin, Broker, Professional Liability, Burns & Wilcox, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “Even without proven intent to commit fraud or act in an illegal way, the agent has a fiduciary responsibility to their client and bad acts can still constitute a breach of this responsibility.“You want to make sure that you are covered on all fronts and you are fully protecting your assets,” Bauldrick said. “If you are a real estate agent, you need to be carrying coverage. If you do not carry sufficient limits and you are found negligent, you potentially face the possibilities of being unable to pay the damages that are required of you.”