After a real estate transaction, you might learn that your real estate broker breached their fiduciary duty did not act in your best interests. Whether they had a conflict or were just careless when they were helping you buy a home in Maryland, this can be a breach of their fiduciary duty. It can also be grounds for a lawsuit.
Whitney, LLP’s real estate lawyers help home buyers bring claims and file lawsuits against dishonest and negligent home sellers, house flippers, real estate agents and termite inspection companies across Maryland. Our attorneys recover compensation for buyers to repair hidden damage and defects, and for emotional distress. We offer Legal Consultations.
If you need a real estate lawyer near me to help with hidden damage, failure to disclose defects, negligence or fraud in the purchase of a house, Call Us at 410 583 8000 or use our Online Quick Contact Form.
We represent homebuyers throughout Maryland, including Baltimore, Columbia, Germantown, Silver Spring, Waldorf, Frederick, Ellicott City, Glen Burnie, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Bethesda, Dundalk, Towson, Bowie, Aspen Hill and Wheaton.
What Is Brokerage’s Fiduciary Duty?
In order to understand what fiduciary duties a real estate broker has, it is important to understand the concept of a fiduciary. The word “fiduciary” is one that people often hear but do not really understand. In the context of a real estate broker, it means that when you hire an agent, they are supposed to become your “faithful servant.”
When someone is a fiduciary for a client, they are acting on someone’s behalf. It means that they are supposed to put that person’s interests ahead of their own. Their obligation is known as their fiduciary duty, and when it is breached, they can be held liable.
Real estate brokers are considered fiduciaries when they are acting for a buyer or seller. Once you reach an oral or a written agreement with them to be your agent, their fiduciary obligations begin in helping you buy a home.
The Elements of Fiduciary Duty for a Real Estate Broker
You may be wondering what this means for your specific relationship with the real estate broker. For starters, it means that the real estate broker owes you a duty of care to use their skills to the best of their ability on your behalf. Specifically, their skills must be used for your benefit and not their own.
Your financial interests come first. This is also known as their duty of loyalty. For the broker, this means that they cannot engage in any kind of self-dealing, using your money to transact with themselves. They also cannot accept any kind of payment from someone else for your transaction without fully disclosing all the details to you in advance.
A fiduciary also owes their client the duty of obedience. If you give an order to your real estate broker, they need to follow it. They can discuss your instructions with you and give you advice, but at the end of the day, your word controls what your agent does.
The other fiduciary duties that a real estate broker owes you are as follows:
- The duty of confidentiality is to take care to guard all of your private information and not disclose it to anyone.
- They have an obligation to give you a full accounting of all of your funds that they have in their possession and not to mix your money with theirs.
- Perhaps the most important fiduciary duty is the one to disclose to you all the information they learn that can benefit you in a negotiation.
Maryland Real Estate Lawyer for Breach of Fiduciary Duty
The real estate attorneys at Whitney, LLP can fight for your legal rights after a real estate broker breached its fiduciary duty and help recover compensation for you.
If you were the victim of a dishonest seller, real estate agent or WDI/termite inspection company in Maryland, contact Whitney, LLP’s real estate lawyers at 410 583 8000, or use our Online Quick Contact Form, for your Legal Consultation.