Real Estate Lawsuits and Broker Errors
Real estate transactions are complex. While it is not required by the state of Utah, it is highly beneficial to work with a real estate attorney when buying or selling property, to ensure that everything is done correctly.
Individuals who do not work with a real estate attorney may find out too late that mistakes have been made. When broker errors lead to financial losses, real estate attorneys at Froerer & Miles assist individuals in Ogden, UT, Layton, UT, and surrounding areas in filing a lawsuit. Here we discuss the most common broker errors to lead to a real estate lawsuit.
Failure to Disclose Material Information
Brokers and real estate agents have a duty to disclose all material information about a property to prospective buyers. This means that, if a property has issues like termites, plumbing problems, a leaky roof, etc., that needs to be disclosed to any person who expresses interest in purchasing the property. If a broker neglects to disclose this type of information, and the problem is discovered after the purchase is complete, the broker may be held liable for the cost of repairs and/or other related damages.
Misrepresentation of a Property
Misrepresentation of a property is similar to failure to disclose material information, but in these situations, rather than withholding information, the broker provides prospective buyers with false information. Examples of misrepresentation of a property include telling prospective buyers that upgrades or construction work is permitted when it is not, misrepresenting the value of a property, and misstating where the property line rests. Misrepresentation can be innocent (meaning that there was not an intent to mislead), negligent (meaning that the broker neglected to provide key information), or fraudulent (meaning that material facts were deliberately hidden or misstated). If losses occur due to misrepresentation of a property, a lawsuit can be filed.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Real estate agents and brokers have a duty to act in their client’s best interest at all times. They must also uphold a fiduciary standard in all dealings with their clients. If a broker puts their own needs and interests above those of their clients at any time, they may be subject to a lawsuit. A breach of fiduciary duty may involve a failure to disclose material information, or the misrepresentation of a property. For instance, if a broker withholds information or lies about certain aspects of a property in order to make a sale (therefore putting their own needs above the needs of their client), that is considered a breach of fiduciary duty.
Every real estate broker and agent has a duty of care to their client. Negligence is a broad term that refers to any situation in which a broker neglects or breaches that duty of care, and it causes tangible harm to the client.
If you have suffered losses stemming from a real estate transaction, and you believe that a broker error is to blame, attorneys at Froerer & Miles can help you explore the possibility of a real estate lawsuit. To discuss the details of your situation, contact us online, or call (801) 621-2690 and schedule a consultation at our Ogden law firm.