Your realtor should be one of the most invaluable people involved in the purchase or sale of your home. In any real estate transaction, the realtor should be trustworthy, knowledgeable and ultimately on your side. While this is ideally how the relationship should work, from time to time things can go wrong. There are many circumstances where you may find yourself in the untenable situation of suing your real estate agent. Here we'll discuss a few of them.
Breach of Duty
Under law, a real estate agent owes their buyer or seller client many different duties, including the duty of loyalty. This stems from the idea that when a real estate agent is representing you in a transaction they should think first and foremost of your interests, and protect those and take action only in furtherance of your best interests. When a real estate agent takes some action that benefits their own self over you, their client, you may be able to sue them for breaching their duty of loyalty.
Failure to Disclose a Personal Interest
Similar to breaching the duty of loyalty, a real estate agent must disclose when they have a personal stake in a transaction so that their client, the buyer or seller, can make fully informed decisions about whether they want to continue using that agent. When a real estate agent does not make this mandatory disclosure, you may be able to bring a claim and recover anything you may have lost.
Mistakes & Lack of Knowledge
A real estate agent should be knowledgeable about many aspects of a property sale or purchase. They are required to know the various laws and deadlines for responding to offers and counter offers. They should also be able to share important details about the area and surrounding community of your real estate and comparable market values. If a real estate agent gives you incorrect information, fails to meet an important deadline or forgets to convey details about the property or surrounding area, you may be able to bring a claim against them.
Misuse of your Confidential Information
As part of their representation in your home search, your real estate agent may come into possession of a great deal of your confidential information. There are many state and federal laws that mandate how this information must be protected and how it can and cannot be used. If your confidential information has potentially been mishandled, you may have cause to sue your real estate agent.
As you can see, there is a complicated relationship between the buyer or seller and the real estate agent in any property transaction. If you believe that your agent has made a mistake, breached their duty of loyalty, or engaged in some other kind of prohibited conduct, you may wish to evaluate your legal options. When can you sue your realtor is a complicated question and you should feel free to consult a Florida real estate attorney like Justin McMurray, P.A., to discuss the facts behind your particular case.