Determining if Your Illinois Real Estate Agent Has Been Negligent


Originally posted at Zara Law Group

Real estate transactions are complex. The job of your real estate agent is to bring your transaction to a successful conclusion. However, a real estate agent must have your best interests in mind in addition to a professional responsibility. In this article we discuss what can occur during a transaction for a real estate agent in Illinois to be found negligent.

How Can a Real Estate Agent Be Negligent

Negligence by a real estate agent can also be known as real estate malpractice. In Illinois, the Illinois Real Estate Act was created to address many issues pertaining to homeowners, real estate transactions and professional responsibilities which may be used as a cause for a negligent claim on your real estate agent.

What Kinds of Negligence Claims Can be Litigated in Illinois

Many of the claims of negligence against real estate agents deal with failures to disclose pertinent information on the property in question that can have a potentially large impact on the appraised value of the property. This includes hidden, undisclosed and purposefully hidden information that causes the client to pay unexpected and unanticipated additional costs that weren't known or anticipated before signing an agreement with the real estate agent.

Other examples of possible negligence under the Illinois Real Estate License Act include:

Your Real Estate Agent Fails in Their Duties

During any residential or commercial real estate transaction, real estate agents have duties that are given to them under the agent/broker client agreement. This includes the price of the property and terms of the ingredient (time, tenants, additional lease agreements, move-in condition) and if your real estate agent fails to perform even any of these duties, then they can be potentially held as negligent under Illinois law.

Your Real Estate Agent Fails to Secure the Price & Terms

A real estate agent can be held negligent in Illinois by not seeking the price and terms stated in the real estate brokerage agreement that are not acceptable to the client.

Failure to Communicate Potential Offers

Unless otherwise directed by a client, Illinois real estate agents must communicate all offers to their clients. This means that unless you specifically request a certain minimum amount, or other conditional offer to your real estate agent, they must communicate and inform you of all offers.

Hiding Pertinent Information on the Property

A real estate agent must disclose any and all known information on the current condition of the property. Now, this does have a potentially wide-ranging scope. Scenarios could include the real estate agent being made aware of a structural issue (that may have been missed during inspection) and failing to inform their client unless the information could be classified as confidential (under attorney-client privilege).

Your Real Estate Agent Must Give You Information in a Timely Manner

A real estate agent in Illinois must give their client information including updates in an appropriate time-frame in regards to offers, events and other facts of discovery.

Your Real Estate Agent Failures to Follow Explicit Instructions

When a real estate agent directly disregards oral or written directives that aren't in violation of the law or otherwise unable to be realistically achieved, they can be held liable for negligence. This includes blatant disregard to the reasonable exercising of their duties.

Giving Intentionally False Information

An agent knowingly or negligently giving their client false or misleading information or a history of treating clients unfairly.

Putting Personal Interests Before Client Interests

If a real estate agent puts any broker, or party of interest other than the client first can result in negligence as well.

Releasing Confidential Information

Unless given authorization, at no point is a real estate agent allowed to release your personal confidential information.

Give You the Minimum Services as in the Illinois Real Estate Act

This includes communicating, offers, counteroffers and assisting the client in receiving offers as well as assisting them through the process of a successful transaction.

What Information Do You Need for a Negligence Claim Against a Real Estate Agent in Illinois?

If you believe your real estate agent is or has acted with negligence in regards to your real estate transaction, when requesting relief, it's important to document everything including:

  • The location where the events or acts of negligence have occurred including dates & times if known
  • The facts associated with your claim
  • Proof of a contractual relationship/agreement between both the plaintiff & the defendant
  • The duty of the real estate agent associated with the alleged offense that occurred
  • Descriptions of the damages and/or losses that occurred due to the negligence as well as how their duty in the matter was neglectful

Ensuring you have the best representation for your real estate transaction should include an experienced real estate attorney with extensive experience in residential and commercial transactions.

If you would like to schedule a free real estate consultation, Zara Law Group is your partner in handling all of your Illinois real estate legal matters.  Visit their website for a free consultation.

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