When a real estate agent breaches their fiduciary duty and causes damage to their client, they can be held responsible. However, many people do not understand exactly what this term means in the context of a lawsuit against the real estate agent. Essentially, a real estate agent has very high standards and responsibilities to their clients, and must put their client’s interest ahead of their own.
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. Many of our clients pay no out-of-pocket fees or expenses.
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.
What Does the Term “Fiduciary Duty” Mean?
In general, the term “fiduciary duty” means that someone else has a relationship with you that requires them to act for your benefit. They must put their own interests aside and act for you. When you hire someone to represent you such as a real estate agent or a stockbroker, it means that they are being paid to help you and must act for you.
Once you hire a \ real estate agent to work on your behalf, they assume fiduciary obligations to you. In terms of the transaction, this means several things:
- Your real estate agent has a general duty to be honest with you.
- The agent must share information with you that they learn, especially when it comes to defects in the property.
- The agent cannot transact with themselves or someone else they represent without telling you beforehand.
You will often see breach of fiduciary duty used in any lawsuit against a real estate agent. It is much easier to show that they breached the duty than it is to show fraud or even negligence.
Examples of Breaches of Fiduciary Duty
A fiduciary duty means that the real estate agent must act with care, loyalty and integrity. Here are some examples where the agent can be found to have breached their fiduciary duty to you as their client:
- Knowing about termite damage and not telling you about it
- Taking payment from someone else associated with the transaction and not telling you about it
- Not informing you of developments in the purchase process for your home
- Sharing your personal and confidential information with someone else
In a breach of fiduciary duty case, you can sue the real estate agent for financial damages. At the minimum, this starts with a return of the commission. In some cases, it could even lead to a rescission of the home sale.
Fiduciary duty cases need the help of an experienced real estate lawyer who knows how to prove your case. These lawsuits always depend very heavily on facts, so you will need a real estate lawyer who can investigate your case and get to the bottom of what happened, and use an expert witness to establish the standard of care and prove your agent breached it.
Lawyers Suing Real Estate Agents for Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Whitney, LLP’s attorneys have represented many families against real estate agents who breached their fiduciary duty, and helped recover compensation for damage caused by these bad agents.
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. Many of our clients pay no out-of-pocket fees or expenses.
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.