UPDATED, 8:00 a.m., Dec. 27: “Million Dollar Listing” stars Josh and Matt Altman are continually serving up the drama, both on and off the screen.
The brothers are being sued for $3.7 million for allegedly misguiding Hilton & Hyland’s client, Peter Kleidman, into selling his home for well below the property’s worth, Page Six reported.
Kleidman enlisted brokerage Hilton & Hyland to sell his residence in December 2012, just a few months before he filed bankruptcy. The brokerage then sold Kleidman’s property for $5.3 million, representing both Kleidman and the buyer in the deal. The Altman bros, who worked for Hilton & Hyland at the time, represented only the buyer.
But the buyer, as many home-flippers do, later sold the home for more than $10 million — causing Kleidman to believe he got duped into selling the “unattractive” home for a price tag way below its potential. In the lawsuit, which was filed in January, Kleidman claims Hilton & Hyland and the Altman brothers “did not disclose their knowledge of the two different valuations because they were also representing [the] buyer” and “were allied far more strongly to [the] buyer.”
He also alleged the buyer made a pact with Hilton & Hyland to retain the brokerage when reselling the home, assuming the buyer got the desired price.
Kleidman is now asking the court to award him damages and prohibit the listing agreement from happening. The brothers, as well as Hilton & Hyland, have asked the court to dismiss the suit, to no avail.
“Fortunately and unfortunately, when you’re at the top of the real estate game, you’re a target for frivolous lawsuits,” the Altman brothers told Page Six. “This one definitely takes the cake. We repped the buyer, not the seller who had his own agent. The seller was in bankruptcy and asked the court to approve the sale so that he can pay his creditors. Our buyer gutted the house at a great cost and sold it over a year later for a huge profit. Seller is unhappy the buyer made lots of money. Everything was approved by the bankruptcy court. This lawsuit is comical. Seller decided to go after the guys on TV instead of his own agent.”
The brothers, who now work for Douglas Elliman, are among some of L.A.’s top-producing agents, repping celeb clients in Bel Air, Holmby Hills and other wealthy enclaves of the city. They’ve risen to national fame with the help of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles,” which is covered in a weekly column by The Real Deal. [Page Six] — Natalie Hoberman