Ocala Real Estate Attorney — Can You Sue Your Realtor for Issues Related to Representation?
Real estate agents and real estate attorneys in Ocala have very different roles in the real estate transaction process. Realtors play an important role in the process of locating a home, a piece of commercial property, vacation home, or other piece of real estate for purchase. Some real estate agents represent buyers while other agents represent sellers. The duties and responsibilities of the realtor can vary depending on which party the realtor is representing in the transaction.
Unfortunately, sometimes issues arise because of something that happens with your real estate agent. Our Ocala real estate attorneys work closely with realtors in our area. In most cases, we can help parties resolve problems through mediation. Call (888) 316-2131 to discuss your problems with our Ocala real estate lawyer.
What Things Should a Seller's Agent Do for the Client?
When a real estate agent is representing a seller, there are several things that the agent should do to protect the seller's best interest including:
• Research the Value of the Home — When the real estate agent prices the home or another price of real property, the agent needs to research the value of properties within the area to determine the correct value for the property. Properties that are underpriced result in a loss for the seller, but overpriced properties may not sell for months, if ever if the property is overpriced.
• Communicate — One of the issues that can result in problems and disputes is the failure to communicate. Your realtor should be in touch with you on a regular basis and communicate any offers or issues to you immediately. Your agent should also return calls or messages within 24 hours.
• Marketing — When the property is listed for sale, a real estate agent should use every available resource to market the property. Listing the property in the MLS is not sufficient. The realtor must use other resources to ensure the property reaches as many potential buyers as possible to ensure top dollar for the property.
• Research the Buyer — Before signing a contract, the realtor should make sure that the buyer is qualified to purchase the property. If the buyer does not have a loan commitment, the sale could fall through.
• Aggressive Negotiation — The agent has a responsibility to negotiate the best terms for his or her client. Realtors who are advocating for their client are also thinking of ways to increase the sale prices or obtain more favorable terms for the client. Therefore, negotiation skills are necessary for a realtor to perform his or her job effectively.
• Attending Inspections and Appraisals — Your real estate agent should attend the home inspection and home appraisal to protect the seller's interest. The realtor can answer questions for the inspectors to make sure they understand the facts about the home. The agent can also note items that could impact the contract for sale, so that the agent can discuss the matters with the seller as soon as possible. Having an answer and resolution immediately for the buyer when they raise the issue can reduce the chance of other problems.
• Coordinate the Real Estate Closing — Many loose ends must be tied together before closing. The real estate agent should oversee coordinating everything that must occur to make the real estate closing proceed smoothly.
What Things Should a Buyer's Agent Do for the Client?
A buyer's agent should do everything on the above list except the buyer's agent is acting in the best interest of the buyer. For example, a buyer's agent should use all available research tools to locate properties within the area that fit the buyer's must-have list instead of simply relying on one or two “easy” resources. When potential properties are identified, the realtor should not rely on the value provided by the seller's agent. The buyer's agent has a duty to research property values to determine the correct value for the property.
Buyer's agents must also have excellent negotiating skills because they also have a duty to negotiate the best terms for their client. Attending inspections is a must for a buyer's agent so that the agent can ensure the inspectors are not “glossing over” items or accepting the explanation of a seller's agent as the resolution of an issue or problem.
The agent also must coordinate the loose ends for closing, including working closely with the lender and the Ocala real estate attorney to ensure the real estate closing proceeds without any issues.
When Should a Client Sue a Real Estate Agent?
Real estate agents cannot control all potential issues with a real estate transaction, such as title defects, clients who back out of contracts, or denied loan applications. However, there are instances in which a client may want to consider an action against the realtor including:
• Failure to Disclose
• Conflicts of Interests
• Breach of Duty
• Providing Legal Advice
• Breach of Contract
Determining whether to file a lawsuit can be difficult. The real estate agents in Ocala are wonderful professionals who go above and beyond to help their clients.
However, if you believe your agent has failed in his or her duties or responsibilities, contact our office by calling (888) 316-2131 to discuss your case with an experienced Ocala real estate lawyer. You have a duty to yourself to protect your best interests. Do not hesitate to contact an Ocala real estate lawyer if you believe your realtor has committed an error or was negligent in his or her duties.