The basis of your assignment is to provide an ethical evaluation of professional-client relationship detailed in the NY Times article, “Feeling Misled, Buyers Sue Agent” (Real Estate.pdf).Besides this essay, you do not need any information for your essay except the assigned readings for this course and the information below. The relevant assigned readings are by Bayles (two different chapters) and Wasserstrom.
Your thesis must address this question: Did Mike Little fail to fulfill any of his professional duties as a buyer’s agent when he assisted Marty Ummel in the purchase of her house?
In the process of doing this, consider these issues: Is Mike Little a professional as this is defined by MIchael Bayles? Using the second reading by Bayles, what does the article mean when it says that Little had “a lot of fiduciary duties” in the relationship—what obligations or duties (positive and negative) did this generate towards clients? What duties do the clients have in this kind of relationship? How would this be different from having a paternalistic or agency relationship? Is Ummel unfairly blaming Little because she misunderstood the nature of a fiduciary relationship?
The case went to trial, and the jury found Mike Little not guilty. Jurors who were interviewed afterwards indicated that they believed that the Ummels were not the only ones responsible for determining the house’s value, but they had failed to conduct their own research about property values in the area before agreeing to pay $1.2 million for the house. Since the legal process concluded that Little did not break any laws, do not discuss the legality of Little’s behavior in your essay. There is no legal issue to discuss.
Qualifications to be a buyer’s agent in California: In order to be licensed as a buyer’s agent in California, Mike Little met the following five conditions to acquire his license: (1) was a resident of the state, (2) was sufficiently honest (as demonstrated by having no significant criminal history and had not received significant disciplinary action while working in real estate, (3) took the equivalent of one year of college courses in the basics of real estate practice and related topics (such as real estate accounting and law), (4) had at least two year’s of experience working for someone with the same license, and (5) passed a licensing examination demonstrating understanding of the rules governing real estate in the state.