Whether you’re buying or selling a piece of real estate, you rely on your agent’s expertise to help the process go along smoothly. You also expect your agent to keep their fiduciary duty in mind and look out for your best interests.
What if that doesn’t happen? Whether your real estate agent deliberately acted in a self-serving way or made mistakes that ended up being costly for you, that could be a form of professional malpractice or negligence.
Why do real estate agents end up in court?
A lot of mistakes that disadvantage their clients can be chalked up to errors in judgment, carelessness or greed. With that in mind, here are some of the top reasons people bring claims against a real estate agent:
- Failure to disclose: An agent has a duty to disclose any important information about a property that could adversely affect its value that they knew or should have known.
- Misleading a buyer: If an agent gave you inaccurate or misleading information about a piece of real estate, that’s just as bad (if not worse) than “forgetting” to disclose something.
- Missed deadlines: If an agent doesn’t act promptly, that could lead to a missed deal. Alternatively, it could leave you locked into a contract because you missed the narrow window you had to opt out once it was signed.
- Inappropriate disclosures: Real estate agents owe their clients a duty to protect their privacy. If a talkative real estate agent divulges something that ultimately puts their client at a disadvantage or exposes them to financial harm (via identity theft or other means), that’s actionable.
Whether an agent engaged in self-dealing, misrepresentation or missed a deadline, you may find yourself in a tangled legal mess. Make sure that you have the guidance you need to get through the situation with the best possible results.