Want to own your own gas station? If you have an extra $1.75 million, the real estate website Trulia lists the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Chevron station for sale. The site stated last week that the asking price was reduced by $500,000.
The problem is that the station, located at the busy intersection of Birmingham Drive and I-5, is not for sale. After speaking with the manger at the station, he called their corporate office, which denied the station was for sale.
I clicked the Trulia website link to “Contact a Realtor” and immediately received several callbacks from agents who use the site to generate leads.
Hedy Goldman, a Cardiff resident that lives up the street from the station, is an agent at Solana Beach’s Windermere SoCal Real Estate. She apologized, saying she “knew nothing about the listing.” She concurred with what other agents who I spoke with said — that the Trulia site is filled with inaccurate information.
“They never remove it,” Goldman said. Once Goldman had a client inquire about a home listing on Trulia, only to find out the street address was bogus. After knocking on a few doors in the neighborhood, a resident said the listing was for a house she had sold at a different address over five years ago. It was still listed on Trulia.
The listing for the station also stated “ARCO AM/PM is VERY Interested In A Conversation!” Another problem — ARCO, owned by BP, reportedly sold off its 800 AM/PM gas stations in May of 2012 to Tesoro Oil. The Texas-based refiner is in the process of converting 250 AM/PM, Thrifty Gas, Ultramar, and Beacon branded stations to USA Gas. The company, while keeping the majority of stations under the AM/PM brand, will not be opening any new gas stations under that name.
The Trulia site listed the broker as BIZBuilder.com and the agent as George L. Massalas, Jr. Additional real estate sites list him as the owner and CEO of BIZBuilder, headquartered in Simi Valley. Yet, his profile on Trulia lists his experience as being in residential sales. I could not reach a live person, during normal business hours, at the several phone numbers listed for the firm. One site also showed him having an office in Washington, DC.