Post office shortchanged in dual agency real estate sales?

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As it closes post offices around the country and sells or rents out the real estate they occupied, the U.S. Postal Service may be getting the short end of the stick by allowing its broker, CB Richard Ellis, to engage in dual agency representation, representing both the post office and prospective buyers and renters at the same time, the Postal Service inspector general’s office said Wednesday in a report recommending that postal officials switch to arm’s-length transactions.

Investigative journalist Peter Byrne has also explored the issue in a book, “Going Postal,” which alleged that in managing the Postal Service’s $85 billion real estate portfolio, CB Richard Ellis had sold properties to developers at prices that appeared to have been steeply discounted from fair market values. Byrne concluded that from June 2011 through May 2013, the broker may “arguably” have left $79 million on the table in representing the Postal Service in sales of 52 properties with an assessed value of $232 million. CB Richard Ellis Chairman Richard C. Blum is the husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Source: washingtonpost.com.

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