Ask the Expert Cherry Picking


By Dale Martin

ask the expert dale martin_ask the expert MG_9269As spring approaches, the cherry blossoms in our nation’s capital bloom and our local real estate market starts to pick up. Both are beautiful sights to behold.

As wonderful as it may be to pick cherries, it not so wonderful to be the victim of “cherry picking.” Whether you are a buyer, seller, or real estate professional, many of us have experienced that “certain feeling” or suspicion that something was amiss.

When a listing broker or other agents withhold offers from a seller in order to steer a transaction this is called “cherry picking.” It is done in order to obtain a larger commission, or for some other nefarious purpose. This activity violates California Civil Code Section 2295 and Business and Professions Code Section 10176 as a breach of the fiduciary duty owed by licensees to their clients. It can constitute fraud.

As one possible solution, an experienced agent may assertively request to present the offer in person directly to the seller.

Laguna Beach attorney Dale A. Martin specializes in real estate transactions and litigation. He teaches law at Cal-State Fullerton and was senior attorney for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. (949) 303-0191