Can I Sue my Real Estate Agent for Dual Representation?
Real estate is one of the most tangible and important assets that you can acquire throughout your life. Sadly, the dream of homeownership is more difficult to achieve than it was for previous generations. That’s why it’s so important to find a realtor with experience and integrity, who will put the interests of their clients above all else.
However, one has to question the conflict of interest to a broker when their wages are based on the commission they earn from a sale. This kind of system is a breeding ground for ruthless tactics, especially when a realtor represents both parties in a real estate deal. Today, we will talk about the problems you may encounter when a real estate agency acts as a dual agent. In particular, we will discuss whether you have a right to sue a realtor for dual representation when you get the short end of the stick in a real estate transaction.
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What is Dual Representation?
Also known as dual agency, dual representation is when a real estate broker acts as a representative for both the buyer and seller. This is a perfectly legal practice, and there are many benefits to using one person to handle all aspects of a real estate sale. Aside from property sales, dual agency can be part of any real estate deal, including rental or lease transactions and mortgage assignments
It’s essential for realtors to put the interests of the clients above their own, and this is precisely why complications arise when one agent represents both sides of a property deal. Will the realtor favor one side over the other? This is a breach in the fiduciary duty that brokers have to their clients, and it’s important that relators are completely transparent about any issues that may present a conflict of interest.
Possible Conflict of Interest with Dual Representation from a Relator
As we’ve mentioned, dual representation for the seller and buyer is a fairly common practice with real estate agencies. In fact, many people feel that it’s better for one agent to take care of the entire process from start to finish for both parties. But the clients must be fully informed of their legal rights before dual agency is established for a real estate transaction. When a realtor fails to exercise caution and there is a conflict of interest, the relator may be sued by the client that’s been taken advantage of.
The Downsides of Dual Agent Real Estate Deals
Any real estate transaction has its share of risks, whether you work with a dual agent or hire a separate real estate agent to represent you. The main issue with dual representation is staying impartial when your salary ultimately depends on how much the property is sold for. That’s why you often see realtors favoring the seller in these situations, which is most definitely a conflict of interest.
Other drawbacks of dual representation by a real estate agent include:
A dual agent may conceal information or mislead you in an effort to close the deal in their favor (exaggerate certain aspects of the property, not advising you to get a third party assessment, etc.)
Your realtor may be more interested in closing the deal than providing you, the buyer, with a thorough search of all available properties.
It’s possible that the agent has a previous working relationship with the seller, which means they are already biased in terms of who they will favor.
A dual agent can’t be trusted completely when it comes to whether a price is reasonable, especially if the seller is someone they worked with before (more likely to defend the seller’s price).
While the goal is to advance the interests of both parties, this may be impossible in a situation where both sides are too far apart on the price for a property. Ultimately, closing the deal is the realtor’s main priority, so they may inevitably choose one side over another.
If something goes wrong with the deal, you may have to sue your realtor, which means you will need to start over with a new brokerage firm.
Can I Sue a Real Estate Agency for Dual Representation?
Frankly, the practice of dual representation in itself is perfectly legal, not to mention helpful to many people who are trying to buy or sell a property. But greed and making a quick sale can influence a realtor and cause problems that put one person at a clear disadvantage. That’s why legal representation is highly recommended, whether you are interested in a residential or commercial property.
The real estate litigation lawyers of DTLA are loyal to you, and no one else. If a dual agent failed in their fiduciary duty to you as a client, you can count on us to provide you with aggressive representation. We are with you every step of the way, so don’t be discouraged if you were cheated in a dual agent real estate deal. We will help you build a solid case and obtain compensation from a dual representation lawsuit against a real estate agent.
Benefits of Hiring a California Real Estate Lawsuit Attorney
In reality, conflict of interest is an issue that can never be fully resolved when both sides of a real estate deal are represented by the same agent. That’s why dual agent cases are heavily litigated in California, though it can be very challenging to prove that you’ve suffered sufficient losses to justify a monetary award. To ensure the best chance of recovery from a dual agency lawsuit, contact our office to speak to a lawyer with experience in conflict of interest from dual representation by a real estate agency.
We provide free legal services to anyone with an eligible claim against a real estate agent. This includes people with existing claims, who are in need of a free second opinion on their case. Whether you start a lawsuit with us or wish to continue an existing claim, we promise that you will never pay upfront when you become one of our clients. Since we provide a Zero Fee Guarantee on all cases, we demand all legal fees from the real estate broker, which we only receive by winning your case.
As you can see, there is no risk to you in contacting our law firm and learning about the possibilities of suing a real estate agent for dual representation. Please give us a call and schedule a free case evaluation.
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