In a class action lawsuit filed Wednesday in district court, Robert and Renae Bafus claim Coldwell Banker Aspen Realty violated federal and state anti-trust laws during the purchase of their home.
In March 2000, the couple wanted to purchase a lot in the Chaumont Subdivision in Eagle.
The lawsuit claims that while they had already found their own builder they were told by the realtor that if they purchase the land they had to use one of the subdivisions preferred contractors.
On top of that, the couple claims they were being charged a six percent commission on the lot and an additional six percent on the sale of the house, which hadn’t been built yet.
“In essence there’s a commission being charged on something that is yet to be done and it includes a commission that is often times not identified to the purchaser”, said Bruce Smith, one of the attorneys representing the Bafuses. Smith calls this practice tying, when the sale of one product forces the buyer to purchase another product they don’t want or need.
Coldwell Banker representatives were advised not to comment on the suit. However an attorney for the real estate group did issue a statement to Local 2 News.
Bohner Law Office said they are still sorting out all the facts in the case. But once those facts are known, they are confident their client will be exonerated. The discovery process is just beginning, but once all the facts are known, it will be clear the claims are without merit, stated A.J. Bohner, attorney for Coldwell Banker.
While its not uncommon for subdivisions to be controlled by one real estate group, the plaintiffs attorneys allege that it is illegal for Coldwell Banker and other brokers to charge hidden commission fees to home buyers.