Contact our office for the experienced legal advice you need.  415-510-2823

Real estate professionals are at risk when clients hide defects

As a real estate professional, you have had to undergo classes and complete the state licensing test and background checks in order to practice your profession. Individuals pay you a portion of the transaction value because you provide critical services that make it easier for them to list their properties or purchase a property.

Your knowledge and training allow you to facilitate one of the most important transactions your average client will ever complete, which means that they trust you to guide them in making the right decision. They may later question your guidance if they later discover major defects that went undisclosed on the paperwork and undiscovered during viewings and inspections.

Whether you represent the buyer or the seller in a real estate transaction, there are situations in which you may become legally and financially accountable. These include scenarios where a seller intentionally left major, known defects off of the Transfer Disclosure Statement required under California law.

Part of your job is to help people assess the property

If you worked as the buyer’s agent in a situation with defects not disclosed in the paperwork provided by the seller, you serve as the critical stopgap between that unethical seller and the buyer you represent. The buyers depend on your expertise and ability to notice visible and serious defects during a tour of the property.

From paying attention to the foundation as you walk around the exterior of the property to pressing the seller’s agent for information on questionable things you notice, there are many important tasks you need to perform in order to adequately represent your buyers and help them avoid someone taking advantage of them. If you fail to provide adequate advice and representation, the buyer you represented may be able to bring a claim against you.

Seller’s agent may be liable for the misbehavior of their clients

As a seller’s agent, you know that the Transfer Disclosure Statement is a necessary and legally required form where your client has to disclose any issues they know about with the property, ranging from mechanical issues to disputes with the neighbor and recent pest infestations.

If you notice that your client has not listed in issue on the disclosure, you must bring it to their attention and have them correct the form. Failing to do that could leave your reputation or even your license on the line if the buyer takes action against you after the sale.