For someone buying real estate, what they don’t know can hurt them. Only those with thorough and accurate knowledge about a property can make an informed offer to purchase. The sad truth is that many people hoping to sell their homes don’t care if they take advantage of a buyer, as long as they make as much money as possible.
The real estate professionals representing sellers in real estate transactions are in a vulnerable position if that seller lies to them or the buyer about the condition of the property. Agents should do their best to talk frankly with potential sellers about the condition of the property and any known defects.
If a seller tries to avoid including information about a defect on documentation or if you catch them in a lie about the condition of the property, taking the listing could be a professional and financial risk.
Florida law mandates the disclosure of all known defects
Making sure that clients understand the risks of hiding information or lying is one of the roles that a real estate agent serves in a transaction. They are a crucial form of oversight and guidance. The average person doesn’t know their legal obligations when conducting a real estate transaction, but a licensed real estate professional does.
It is the duty of a seller’s agent to thoroughly inspect the property and to insist that the seller be honest in their disclosure paperwork. Buyers can sometimes take legal action against a seller who lied about or intentionally hid known defects during a transaction.
Agents may take on some of the risk involved if a seller lies about the property. The buyer or their agent could bring a claim against both the seller and their agent for financial losses. If the claim is successful, not only could that affect your insurance costs as a professional, but it could also affect your state licensing.
Knowing what the law requires of you and when to pass on a property listing can help you avoid financial risk and danger to your professional future.