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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Century 21 agents lowball client in home sale then flip for big profit: lawsuit

Seller alleges agent convinced him to accept below-market offer from LLC tied to colleague
By Dennis Lynch | February 02, 2018 04:00PM

1551 E 76th Place (Credit: Google Maps)

A Los Angeles man put his faith in the Pico Rivera Century 21 Allstars to sell his deceased father’s home. In return, he claims in a lawsuit, the real estate agents convinced him to slash the price of the house by 40 percent before they then resold the property at a steep profit.

The plaintiff in the case, Rosario Lazcano, said he hired Edrisi Aussenac of Century 21 to sell his father’s two-bedroom home at 1551 East 76th Place. Aussenac listed it at $315,000 in September 2016, but one month later, suggested to Lazcano he drop it to $190,000. He was having trouble getting offers and had one at that price, Aussenac told him, according to the suit, which was filed in State Superior Court in Los Angeles.

Lazcano said that that Aussenac did not provide any comparable listings or an appraisal to justify the huge price chop. Lazcano believed his agent, and went along with the price chop anyway.

The buyer was Gyn Group LLC. Its titled president was Jorge D. Acuna, another Century 21 agent and colleague of Aussenac. The East 76th Street home was paid for all in cash.

The parties did not disclose that they were colleagues when the deal closed on December 30, 2016, according to the suit. Pacific Escrow closed the escrow account on January 3, the same day Gyn Group transferred the property to itself and Aussenac’s wife, Daisy Aussenac.

Two months later, Gyn listed the property for $399,000 with Edrisi Aussenac and Acuna as the listing agents. The property eventually sold one month later for $375,000, netting the team a $185,000 profit.

Lazcano is claiming fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and intentional misrepresentation. Also named in the suit are Pacific Escrow and its owner, who is allegedly related to the owners of the Century 21 Allstars franchise.

Century 21 Allstars president and CEO Joseph Villaescusa should have disclosed that properties in the area were selling for around $375,000, according to the suit, and that they had a relationship with the eventual buyer.

Aussenac and Villaescusa did not immediately return requests for comment.