Suing a Real Estate Agent
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What Are Some Common Lawsuits against Real Estate Agents?
Direct lawsuits against a real estate agent are among the most common types of real estate actions. This is because the real estate agent is often at the "front-line" of the transactions. It is the agent who deals directly with the client as well as the property, and engages in negotiations, contract setting, and a number of other legal tasks.
This direct interaction with the buyer and/or seller can lead to many different legal concerns. These may include:
- Real estate fraud (i.e., misrepresentation of property value, condition of a home, history of a deed, etc.)
- Breach of a real estate contract
- Breach of duty to the client (such as using the client’s down payment for personal use)
- Home listing scams
- Collaboration with another party to do illegal acts (for instance, working with a home inspector to falsify information regarding the home’s condition or value)
- Falsifying documents
- Misrepresentation regarding their educational background or licensing
Perhaps the most common lawsuit is fraud, or misrepresentation of facts related to the sales transaction. This can cause the client to experience monetary losses as well as lost opportunities at buying a home.
What Type of Legal Compensation Is Available in a Real Estate Lawsuit?
In most real estate lawsuits, a violation by a real estate agent will cause the plaintiff some form of monetary loss. Filing a lawsuit may allow the victim to recover monetary damages. These can include lost finances such as down payments, filing fees, and other costs.
Another common remedy is for the court to order an injunction. This will compel or force the real estate agent to take certain actions (or to stop doing certain actions). This is a common remedy for cases that revolve around the deed or title to a home.
Lastly, some forms of real estate fraud may result in criminal penalties. This can result in the real estate losing their license and/or having to pay criminal fines in addition to civil penalties.
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
Lawsuits against real estate agents can often involve some very complex legal issues. You may wish to hire a lawyer if you feel that you have been subject to a direct violation by a real estate agent. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and can help prove your claim in a court of law. Also, hiring a lawyer at the beginning of a real estate transaction can help prevent conflicts during negotiations and closing.
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Last Modified: 12-13-2016 10:47 AM PST
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