A couple was shocked to discover that their real estate broker allegedly got intimate at their residence right after it entered the market, ultimately leading to legal action.
The Real Deal reported that James and Laura Glen listed their three-bedroom condo in the Hamptons last spring through real estate firm Brown Harris Stevens, which is headquartered in New York City and has offices and properties in the Hamptons, Hudson Valley, Connecticut, New Jersey, Palm Beach and Miami.
The real estate market has caused a lot of headaches, especially for buyers, in recent months. As homes were scarce even before the COVID-19 pandemic, demand still cannot be met, as the US Census Bureau reported that sales of new single-family homes in November 2021 were 12.4% above the revised rate. from October 2021.
A lawsuit filed in December resulted in a settlement in February involving all parties signing a nondisclosure agreement.
The complaint allegedly showed the couple gave exclusive selling rights to listing agent Christopher Burnside on May 15, 2021, for what was said to be ‘an easy sale’ due to the waterfront property with a private dock.
After hiring Burnside, the Glens reportedly traveled to Florida, around the same time as a brokers’ open house on May 25, followed by an open house on May 27.
But instead of an open house for brokers, there would have been a “sex capade”, according to the complaint. Home surveillance cameras reportedly caught a shirtless Burnside and licensed real estate salesman Aubri Peele entering the Glens’ bedroom and not leaving until around 39 minutes later.
The lawsuit would have confirmed that the couple had sex, according to Burnside’s own admission. He then offered to fulfill his duties already under contract, continuing the registration without commission.
Complainant Laura Glen allegedly felt “violated” by the intimate encounter in her home, according to the complaint, later claiming she wanted “nothing to do with the property”.
In September, about three months before the lawsuit was officially filed, the couple reportedly expressed their “utter frustration” to Brown Harris Stevens CEO Bess Freeman, including a mention that their condo unit had received no offers of employment. purchase when a neighboring unit would have received three offers in the same period of time.
Homes would only spend 61 days on the market, while typical home prices of around $381,000 are up about 26% from 2020 listings.
Buyers are channeling different methods to find the right home, and quickly. While one real estate broker said that about 70% of home purchases are financed, that 30% of buyers bidding in cash actually drives up home prices.
The National Association of Realtors has reported that the national qualifying income needed to purchase a home is $66,978 with a 10% down payment, or $59,536 with a 20% down payment.
Burnside said Newsweek that neither he nor Peele could comment on the allegations since the case had been mutually dismissed.
“The Hamptons real estate market has been incredibly busy with only two weeks until summer kicks off,” Burnside said. “We are focused on finding homes at realistic prices in an inflated market with no inventory.”
The Brown Harris Stevens website still includes individual pages for Burnside and Peele, who both work from the company’s Bridgehampton office.
Burnside, an Arizona native, has been in the business for more than 25 years and, according to his webpage, “has over $1 billion in trades under his belt.” According to Wall Street Journal Real Trends, he is one of the top 10 volume brokers in the Hamptons.
Peele’s page still says she works alongside Burnside. His work ethic, honesty and communication are described as “trademarks” of his character.