When you represent a buyer purchasing real estate, you try to help them find a property that meets their needs and is in the best condition possible given their budget. You probably want to imagine that they enjoy living in that house for many years. Unfortunately, some buyers end up feeling very dissatisfied with the property they purchase. In fact, some buyers feel like the seller took advantage of them or lied.
There are scenarios in which a buyer might take the person who previously owned their new home to civil court. Someone misrepresenting the condition of the property or causing massive damage to the home after closing might result in a lawsuit. People could also take legal action over a seller refusing to leave the premises after the possession date.
As the buyer’s agent who helped them during the transaction, will you have to testify in court during that lawsuit?
You may need to talk about your perspective
What the other real estate agent or the seller said to you and your understanding of the property’s condition or the terms of the transaction can play a major role in the success or failure of your client’s civil lawsuit.
Especially when you agree with them that there were misrepresentations made about the condition of the property or the intention of the seller, your professional opinion and your statements corroborating the buyer’s claim could play an important role in their civil case.
Could you possibly face consequences over the transaction?
Some real estate agents are reticent to go to court even when they believe their buyers have a valid case because they worry that the litigation will reflect poorly on them as professionals. For example, they may worry that they will have a reputation of failing to catch defects or letting buyers drastically overpay for properties.
On the other hand, there could be a concern that the seller will try to lay the blame with the buyer’s agent and push financial responsibility onto them or their professional insurance. With the right support, real estate agents who want to help a buyer in an unfortunate situation can potentially do so while minimizing any risk to their professional future.
Actively protecting yourself will be important if you have to play a role in a lawsuit related to a recent real estate transaction.