Real Estate Lawsuits and Broker Errors
By Michael Verna on October 12, 2019
If you live in San Francisco or Walnut Creek, CA, you know that finding housing in the Bay Area is extremely challenging. That’s why many of us rely on brokers to help find housing that’s on the market and connect us with a place that we can call home. Yet things don’t always end sweetly. Brokers can misrepresent claims, make costly mistakes, and fail to disclose crucial information about a property. That’s when real estate lawyers Richard T. Bowles and Michael P. Verna can help.
Below we would like to consider some common reasons why people file lawsuits against brokers and real estate agents. This may help you understand if you have a case worth pursuing.
Misrepresentation by a Broker
When it comes to real estate, misrepresentation means that the broker or agent misstated facts about a property. This could mean glossing over a history of pest control or infestation issues at the property. It could also mean lying about structural flaws at a property or the need for essential renovations.
Whatever the case may be, misrepresentation means that the broker lied to a buyer about the property as a means of securing a sale. Had the buyer known the facts, they would have not made the purchase.
Failure to Disclose
Failing to disclose information is tied into the above notion of misrepresentation. Again, a broker could omit information about property boundaries or issues with electrical wiring and pipes. These details are important for anyone who wishes to live in a house or apartment that is safe and sound. Failing to provide truthful information is unacceptable given the role of a broker in the sale.
Types of Misrepresentation and Why They Matter
Generally speaking, there are three kinds of misrepresentation. They are as follows:
- Innocent Misrepresentation - This refers to mistakes that were unintentional. These typically cause little to no harm, but there may be costly mistakes with major consequences for the buyer.
- Negligent Misrepresentation - This refers to a broker’s failure to disclose information about a property due to ignorance of the facts.
- Fraudulent Misrepresentation - This refers to intentionally lying, misleading, and hiding facts about a property in order to close a sale.
Ultimately, a broker should be putting the best interests of the buyer first. Misleading or omitting information for financial gain is something that should never be tolerated.
Establishing If You Have a Lawsuit
In order to file a lawsuit against a real estate broker, it must be shown that the broker’s error or intentional misrepresentation involved some fact about the property that would have impacted the buyer’s decision to make the purchase. If a house requires work on its foundation but the buyer was not made aware of it because the broker hid that fact, this could be grounds for a lawsuit.
Discuss Your Case with a Real Estate Lawyer
Not all disputes with a broker are cut and dry, which is why it’s so important to speak with attorneys familiar with real estate law. They can go over the details of the incident and determine the manner in which the broker misrepresented the property and whether or not this is grounds for a lawsuit.
Contact Our Lawyers
For more information about your legal options after a broker makes a costly error, be sure to contact our team of real estate lawyers. The attorneys of Bowles & Verna LLP can be reached by phone in Walnut Creek at (925) 935-3300.