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3 common types of real estate broker malpractice

Part of your real estate transaction may have involved the professional assistance of a real estate broker or brokerage firm. A broker is different from an agent in that the former goes through additional, in-depth education, must take another exam to receive this higher license and generally has more experience.

Are you unsatisfied with the transaction because of something the broker did or did not do? Perhaps something went wrong, but you are not sure if the mistake warrants a lawsuit. Here are some of the most common forms of real estate broker malpractice to help you determine if you have a claim. Talking to an attorney is the best way to know what options are available for your situation.

1. Misrepresentation

The broker's duty is to accurately represent the property involved in the transaction. Sometimes, the broker does not disclose relevant information or lies about a fact. Examples of such information includes:

  • Structural defects
  • Termites and other pests
  • Boundary lines
  • Easements and titles
  • Environmental problems
  • Conflict of interest with the broker

This act may be intentional fraud or the result of accidental negligence. Regardless of motivation, misrepresentation is a form of malpractice, and you can likely sue.

2. Premises liability

If the misrepresented information led to personal injury on the property, you may also have a premises liability case. You can also pursue financial compensation if you suffer an injury during a showing.

3. Breach of contract

The brokerage agreement between you and the broker is a legal contract. A broker violating the terms of the contract is grounds for litigation. On a related note, brokers can only act within their professional capacity. They cannot complete legal tasks that are reserved for an attorney.

Although a less common reason for real estate litigation, data breaches are another risk in today's digital world. The broker or firm you hire needs to keep your personal information in the computer system secure. 

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