Here's the story of how 'N Sync's Lance Bass won and then lost the Brady Bunch house


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/06/heres-the-story-of-how-n-s.html


#2

if that is the answer, Alex, then the question must be, “What does a corrupt real estate agent look like?”


#3

But by Saturday night, he shared that the agent called to tell him a Hollywood studio was willing to buy the house “at any cost”

Apparently, the cost was Lance Bass’ broken heart…


#4

Well I hope he milked them for plenty.


#5

#6

And how does this not make the seller liable for a huge lawsuit? Oh, right, US law, fucked as usual.


#7

Awful and unethical though it is, I don’t think there are many countries where anything less than signing the sale agreement would constitute a legal contract.

Still, I would be very tempted to write up a very accurate recitation of the facts (and no value judgement) and include all names. No reason why an agents unethical behaviour should be cost-free for them.

Thanks! That’s a term I had never heard of.


#8

Skipping the ethics of this case, why would some corporate buyer be interested in the Brady Bunch House? Is there another Brady Bunch reboot in development? Is someone coming out with a Brady-based reality show?

If we’re talking about a movie or TV show, wouldn’t it make more sense to let Bass buy the house and then lease it for some short period and/or get rights for exterior shots?

Sadly, it sounds like some player with deep pockets decided to be a d*ck.


#9

I’m not sure how it works in CA, but it sure sounds like it was more than a verbal agreement.

after the final deadline for all offers had passed—even writing up the “winning bid” for my team

Emphasis mine.


#10

The thing that doesn’t make sense about use by a Hollywood studio is that the interior likely looks absolutely nothing like the studio set from the show. Maybe they intend to use it as a perk for VIPs?
“I spent the night in the Brady Bunch house!”


#11

Handshake agreements are legally binding in many jurisdictions. And in this case, matters progressed well past the handshake stage, papers were drawn up and everyone thought it was a done deal. Which in any sane legal system would make them liable for breach of contract.


#12

I can’t figure that out either. Unlimited resources? Build a replica house in a climate controlled warehouse and film your crappy reboot there.


#13

I wonder if there’s a stipulation about having to care for cousin Oliver in the contract? That would sour me on the deal.


#14

I think one of the previous articles already confirmed the differences in the interior.

As I said, it doesn’t make sense for an actual production. It sounds more like a studio head or producer who is not playing fair but has the money to just make it happen. I’d almost think something like a rap artist who grew up watching BB in syndication.


#15

If the selling agent accepts the new offer after the first one was already accepted, they may be subject to penalties for ethics violations, may lose their license (if violations of California law have occurred), in addition to being subject to civil liability (real estate agents in California will be seeing “Bass v. Whomever” references in training classes and materials for a good while). That commission better be worth it, because it could be their last (or could be lost to a fine or settlement). The California DRE tends to take this sort of thing pretty seriously.

Much hinges on how much was recorded on paper (such as a sales contract, even if not fully executed) and what exists in writing (paper or e-mail) or in recorded form (such as a voicemail message from the selling agent). The selling agent’s liability insurer has got to be crapping bricks at the moment and the lawyers will likely end up being a big winner here.

Edited for better detail and improved accuracy, courtesy of a relative who is an active real estate agent licensed in California.


#16

If you contract with party A but then sell to party B, your ethics might be fucked, but not the law. And if you don’t have a contract, but act as though you do, you risk stuff like this happening.

Far be it from me to question Lance Bass, but even at the pissant level that most of us buy real estate, there are lots of people involved on both sides to make it ABSOLUTELY CRYSTAL CLEAR when a sale is and isn’t irrevocable. At one stage anyone can walk away, at another stage you’d forfeit your earnest money, at another you’d be liable for actual damages, and so forth until the deed has been transferred and everyone has signed on a hundred dotted lines.

(I’m not saying Bass doesn’t have legal recourse–that’d depend on details we don’t have–just that the system can be totally fair and still not end up with him owning the Brady Bunch house.)

There are many problem areas with US law, but the part that handles the movement of money and property ain’t one of them. The people with money and property made sure of that.


#17

Although the robosigning and MERS scandals during the RE crisis do indicate that there are plenty of probelms with the APPLICATION of real estate law.


#18

I for one am looking forward to the first full season of “Too Many Cooks”


#19

Or at least the enforcement of it–no argument there. I just mean that no law can prevent its own violation.


#20

That’s where I am iffy about its illegality on most jurisdictions. Even a handshake deal has its formalities. The fact that the papers were drawn up would, in my totally untutored opinion, make it harder to claim breach of contract, because there’s an absolute, clear-cut definition of what constitutes the agreement to the contract - the lines are literally there to be signed.

But then I’m pretty used to the idea that what is unethical (which is blurry and massively context dependent) and what is illegal (which must have clear lines) have only a passing acquaintance with each other.