Real Property Disputes
Fiduciary Duties Of Real Estate Brokers
Fiduciary Duty is the high duty of good faith and fair and honest dealing that a real estate broker or agent owes to their clients. The broker or agent (called the fiduciary) is required to put the interests of their clients ahead of their own. The California Civil Jury Instructions contains a jury instruction specifically directed towards a real estate broker’s duty of disclosure, which reads:
“As a fiduciary, a real estate broker must disclose to his or her client all material information that the broker knows or could reasonably obtain regarding the property or relating to the transaction. The facts that a broker must learn, and the advice and counsel required of the broker, depend on the facts of the transaction, the knowledge and experience of the client, the questions asked by the client, the nature of the property, and the terms of sale. The broker must place himself or herself in the position of the client and consider the type of information required for the client to make a well-informed decision.”
Breach of fiduciary duty commonly occurs when a broker or agent intentionally fails to inform the client of a known material fact or is negligent in performing his or her duties. If these actions result in caused damages or loss to a buyer or seller, then the client may bring a claim for breach of fiduciary duty. The following are common examples of property affected by breach of fiduciary duty:
- Unpaid taxes
- Structural defects
- Modifications made without required permits
- Real estate: Breach of Fiduciary Duties
Relief and compensation from real estate agents or brokers may be sought through the agents’ errors and omissions’ insurance (as well as through other sources).
What Are Some Key Issues To Consider When Reviewing A Contract To Purchase Real Property In California?
The California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) uses a standardized form that contains a lot of information and a lot of boxes to check when it comes to reviewing a contract for a real estate transaction, and these contracts are commonly used. Buyer and sellers face different issues. A buyer should have an option to take the title to the property in the name that is written down, whether it’s a husband and wife or a company, but it should also preserve the option to assign that contract. For example, it may be advantageous to assign a contract to a different entity, newly created entity, or a family trust. There are all kinds of circumstances where early on in the contract, the buyer wants to preserve the right to assign that contract. Read More
If you feel your broker or agent has breached their fiduciary duty to you, please contact us at (310) 477-7767 or fill out the form here to discuss your potential case today.
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