The real estate market is changing and, in addition to declining home prices, the industry is experiencing an increasing number of lawsuits being filed against real estate agents and brokers. Reports indicate a 9% increase in real estate litigation over the past year as many dismayed homeowners allege nondisclosure, negligence, and misrepresentation against their agents in a scramble to recoup some of their home’s waning value.
Don’t become part of that nine percent! Take these precautions to mitigate your risk of potential lawsuits and protect your hard-earned commission.
How Real Estate Pros Can Avoid Lawsuits
Advise and identify. Be thorough and research any issues prospective buyers may notice while viewing the property. Make sure your clients understand any potential problems and document them in writing before they sign closing documents.
Do your due diligence. Adhere to all contract terms, as failure to do so can result in a breach of contract, leaving you vulnerable to future litigation.
Don’t keep secrets. Many homebuyers who notice a defect after the close of sale accuse their agents and brokers of failure to disclose. Be transparent about the listing’s condition and keep the line of communication open between you and your clients.
Offer a home warranty.An ORHP home warranty provides liability protection before and during the closing period for covered home systems and appliances that become inoperable due to normal wear and use. After the close of sale, the Seller’s Coverage converts seamlessly to the buyer, helping protect all parties from after-sale disputes.
If the listing does not include a home warranty and the buyer declines coverage, require them to sign the Declination of Coverage conveniently included in our plan brochure and file it for your future protection.
You work hard for your clients and deserve to keep your commission. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable to litigation—mitigate your risk with a home warranty.
Terms and conditions apply. See your state’s plan for complete coverage and exclusion details.
These suggestions are for informational purposes and should not be used in lieu of professional legal advice.