Featured News 2013 Most Common Claims Made Against Real Estate Licensees

Most Common Claims Made Against Real Estate Licensees

In the litigious society of America, there are abundant opportunities for lawsuits. There are constant battles between real estate licensees and their customers. One of the top reasons that people sue real estate agents is in the event of fraud. Fraud claims typically happen when a real estate agent lies about a piece of property with full knowledge that he or she is not telling the truth. For a plaintiff to succeed in proving a fraud claim, he or she will need to show that the act was intentional. Fraud can either be a lie that was told verbally or withholding vital information with the intent to mislead.

Oftentimes, real estate agents may commit fraud by lying about the square footage of the home, the value of the home, or the construction laws regarding the property. Plaintiffs who choose to sue a real estate licensee who withholds information can seek damages for the cost of the repair for any defects, the replacement costs, the lost profits, the physical and emotional distress of the issue and the lost profits among other claims. Another reason that many real estate buyers will sue an agent is because of a breach of duty. This occurs when a real estate agent does not act in the best interests of his or her clients. Real estate agents have a fiduciary responsibility to act on behalf of their clients and not opt to seek their own benefit.

When a real estate agent breaches this fiduciary responsibility and acts in his or her best interest rather than in the best interest of a client, then that client may have the right to sue, especially if the real estate agent’s actions were damaging. Another reason that real estate lawsuits begin is when a plaintiff experiences a breach of contract. This happens when a plaintiff believes that an insured real estate agent to not act within the terms of a signed contract and instead act in his or her personal preferences. When a real estate agent breaches a contract, then the court will review the actions and the documentation. If they agree with the plaintiff’s claim, then the real estate agent will be required to restore damages to the plaintiff.

Another reason that buyers may sue a real estate agent is because of negligence. This happens when a real estate agent fails to exercise the care necessary to clients. The plaintiff will need to prove that the defendant had a duty that was not acted upon and that the breach of duty was a negligent and unfeeling action. Usually, negligence claims lack an element of intent, which is why they are filed separately from a fraud claim or a breach of duty claim. In negligence claims, the plaintiff doesn’t need to prove that a real estate agent meant to commit the hurtful action.

Plaintiffs can also sue against a real estate agent for bodily injury or property damage. This happens when there is an accident on home such as water leaking into a basement or termite damage in the structure of house. Typically, buyers will sue a real estate agent if these injuries were the result of a home purchased due to fraud. Often property damage and bodily injury claims can be tagged onto any of the claims above in order to obtain compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other situations. If a family falls ill because of a mold in a home or a septic system cannot handle the high occupancy in a house and this information was not disclosed to the family when they purchased the home, these would be reasons to sue a real estate agent. If you want more information about real estate agency lawsuits, then find a local lawyer to talk about your specific situation!

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