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'Over the top' OC Real Estate Blogger Gets Slapped With Grievance

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You can't always say what you want online; or, you can, until someone tries to stop you. One Irvine-based blogger, Larry Roberts, has had a grievance filed against him by the Orange County Association of Realtors (OCAR) for his "over the top" posts that violate the professional realtor's code of ethics, according to the OC Register.

On his site, IrvineHousingBlog.com, Roberts has posts with innocuous titles like "Housing demand surprisingly low while payment affordability at record highs" and "Banks stockpile homes buyers don’t need to buy," but also some more colorful posts like "More self-serving bullshit from the National Association of realtors."

The blog contains photos of properties in foreclosure, as well as posts that criticize homeowners who have defaulted on their loans. Roberts is also very critical of his
colleagues, and "has accused real estate agents, in general, of being dishonest."

In return, Roberts attests the grievance is "frivolous," and he is protected by free speech. Moreover, he says while he has a broker's license, he does not "run a brokerage or sell real estate, and he is not a Realtor or a member of OCAR."

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Roberts calls what realtors tell to prospective buyers as a form of lying, because some, in an attempt to make a sale, they willingly "make representations about investment value and appreciation without regard to whether or not such statements are true." Added Roberts in an interview with the Register: ”I have never singled any Realtor out and called them a liar.”

Two other associates of the blog were named in the grievance: "[Real estate agent Shevy] Akason, who works at Evergreen Realty, advertises on Roberts’ blog and pays him for referrals," and "[broker Tina] Rector is Evergreen’s founding broker."