Real estate agents must disclose material facts to buyers. They cannot withhold material information and must take reasonable steps to ensure that the seller has made full disclosure to you. Failure to disclose material information that causes you harm creates liability for them to be sued.
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 free 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.
The Agent Must Tell You Material Facts
Real estate agents are not allowed to hide their heads in the proverbial sand and simply collect their commission. As an agent, they owe you certain legal duties. Being an agent means that they have a fiduciary duty to act in your interests. This includes disclosing certain information that they know or should have reasonably known, which is also known as the duty of disclosure.
“Material Facts” simply means important facts. It seems obvious, but agents are required by law to disclose these facts to both buyers and sellers.
An agent has a number of disclosure obligations. The most important of these requirements is the duty to disclose defects that they know of in the home. Any known hazards or defects should be disclosed. The agent cannot try to remain willfully blind to possible defects that are very apparent. They must disclose things such as structural defects and termite damage since that is material to your decision as a buyer whether to buy the home and how much to pay. Even though the seller’s agent is not representing you, they have a similar duty to disclose as an agent.
Real estate agents must disclose other things that could affect your purchase. For example, the buyer’s agent must tell their client about other offers on the home. A buyer’s agent needs to tell you any information they know about a particular sale that could influence your transaction, as long as that information is not confidential. Otherwise, they risk being found negligent or to have breached their fiduciary duty.
In addition, your agent needs to disclose to you any relationships they have that could be considered a conflict of interest. For example, if they represent someone else that could possibly be involved in your transaction, they have the obligation to tell you so that you can make your own decisions whether to continue your relationship with that agent.
Both Buyer’s and Seller’s Agents Can Be Sued
Not only does the seller have a duty to disclose defects, but their agent does too. The seller’s agent needs to do their own homework to make sure their client has made full disclosure in the sale. Otherwise, the seller’s agent could also be at legal risk if they purposely hid something from you or allowed the seller to hide something important and did not disclose it themselves.
If you think that either your agent or the seller’s agent did not tell you something they needed to, and you suffered harm, you have the ability to file a lawsuit. The real estate attorneys at Whitney LLP can speak with you and advise you whether you have a legal case. Our real estate lawyers could investigate the facts and help you file a lawsuit.
Maryland Real Estate Attorneys To Sue Agents Who Do Not Disclose
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 Free Consultation.
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.