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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Broker Chris Cortazzo’s former clients are suing him for $3.3M

They claim he deliberately failed to sell their house so he could buy and flip it himself
Chris Cortazzo and the house at 33618 Pacific Coast Highway

Chris Cortazzo and the house at 33618 Pacific Coast Highway

Chris Cortazzo, a top Coldwell Banker broker with a rolodex of famous clients, purposefully neglected to properly market his clients’ Watkins Cove home in a bid to buy it for himself at a low-ball price, according to a new lawsuit.

The former clients, Iranian immigrants Zare and Seda Baghdasarian, are alleging fraud and seeking up to $3.3 million in damages, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Cortazzo was tapped to sell the rare, Harry Gesner-designed modernist house in 2011. The couple wanted to sell the beachfront abode, with its 2,450 square feet of living space, for $10 million, but Cortazzo allegedly recommended a more modest asking price of $8.995 million, according to the suit. The house was on the market for 14 months with no solid offers until Cortazzo eventually made a $5.8 million offer to buy it himself. Last winter, after extensive renovations, he resold the home for $15 million.

Now, the Baghdasarians are claiming in the lawsuit that Cortazzo had been playing them all along, and never sincerely made an effort to find them a buyer.

Cortazzo “adamantly denies any allegation of wrongdoing,” according to his attorney, Neil Gunny.

The case will go to trial September 2017. [THR]Cathaleen Chen