Realtors® are always at risk of being sued – but do you know what the most common reasons are? You might be surprised to find out that many lawsuits revolving around real estate transactions start over seemingly minor details; things that just escape the Realtor’s attention.
MOST COMMON REASONS REALTOR'S GET SUED
Because Realtors continually juggle multiple listings, operate a full business and deal with high-dollar transactions, it’s easy to let things slip by that you wouldn’t ordinarily miss.
Some of the most common reasons clients sue Realtors include:
- Breach of duty. You know that you need to act in your clients’ best interests, and you do exactly that – but it’s important that you keep a paper trail and document everything you do.
- Going into unfamiliar territories. You’re extremely familiar with your communities, but when you head into a new area, make sure you do your research so you can warn your clients about local issues.
- Failure to disclose a property defect. When people discover defects after they sign the closing documents, they could blame you and allege that you knew or should’ve known that the defect existed. Make sure you have inspection paperwork and that your clients are aware of all the issues before things get too far.
- Breach of contract. Clients could claim that you didn’t live up to the terms in your contract, which most commonly happens when you don’t stick to the agreed-upon timeframes. How do you prevent breach of contract suits? Explain every aspect of your contract to your clients.
- Failure to recommend inspections. Every home needs at least a general home inspection, but you could go the extra mile and recommend inspectors for swimming pools, septic systems and other specialized areas, as well.
Do you take all the right precautions to protect yourself from legal trouble? Many of these tips are common sense, but it’s always worth refreshing your memory to make sure that you are giving your clients the best possible treatment.
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