Can a Realtor be Sued for Malpractice?

Hiring a realtor can be beneficial when buying or selling property. Realtors are generally knowledgeable about the local markets, neighborhoods, and any documents involved in finalizing a home purchase. Other appealing realtor benefits include their ability to find prospective buyers and negotiate deals. Though realtors do make considerable commissions on their sales, in some cases it may still prove financially beneficial to hire a realtor.

Realtor’s Legal Obligations

The purchase or sale of a home is a significant deal. Not only is there substantial money being transferred, but often individuals view their home or prospective home from an emotional perspective. Thankfully, there are laws in place obligating your real estate agent to adhere to certain laws protecting their client.

1. Confidentiality. A real estate agent is required to maintain the client’s confidentiality. Any information that could adversely affect the client must remain private. If an agent is representing the buyer, the agent cannot inform the seller that the buyer will accept a lower price than asked without the buyer’s consent.

2. Full disclosure. An agent must provide both parties with any known information pertaining to material defects of a property. However, the agent is only required to inform their client of any other pertinent defects. If a home was previously owned by an infamous figure, and this information may affect the value of the home, the agent is only required to inform their client of this knowledge. Since the information is not related to material defects, the separate party is not entitled to this disclosure.

3. Loyalty. A realtor must provide advice and action in accordance with loyalty to the client. The realtor is obligated to seek the client’s best interest.

4. Obedience. A real estate agent must obey the client’s demands, provided the demands do not conflict with other laws. If a client wishes to sell a home at a given price, and the agent in turn lowers the price in order to sell quickly, it may be considered a violation of the obedience clause since the agent did so without the consent of the client.

If the realtor has performed outside of the duties they are required to provide, they may be sued for malpractice. If you are in the process of buying or selling a home and believe your realtor violated one of the conditions above, contact a real estate attorney such as the real estate lawyer Sacramento CA locals trust. Discuss the situation with your attorney; provide as much detail as possible. If the attorney believes there was malpractice involved, you may be advised to file a suit in an effort to collect compensation.

Thanks to authors at Yee Law Group PLLC for their insight into Real Estate Law.