Professional Liability Exposures for Real Estate Brokers and Agents

Real Estate professionals are not surprised that allegations of malpractice emerging after the housing crash recently. Brokers, title agents, appraisers, inspectors, property managers, loan brokers and others involved in property transactions have the potential for accusations of malpractice. Each step of the process of transfer of the property has the full possibility of errors and omissions.

Real estate professional liability insurance rates have declined and the term has expanded in recent years.

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If the buyer has a broker error square footage, then he can make a valid claim against the agent.

Another potential claim is a breach of fiduciary duty because it did not find and reveal potential defects with the property. Structural problems, lead, water leaks, and cracked foundations are only a few things buyers expect to have disclosure.

Discrimination is one of the most catastrophic allegations brokers can face. Fair housing laws are the main driver of lawsuits. Agents can not be seen from charging a higher commission for a group of people, discouraging buyers of a particular race or trying to drive buyers of certain beliefs towards a particular house. 

If the transactional agent is managing the property for their clients, they should demand clear written management guidelines to protect themselves against liability claims of both the tenant and the owner.