What Happens When a Real Estate Agent Breaches His Fiduciary Duties?

Have you ever wondered what happens if a real estate agent doesn’t perform as required? What happens if a real estate breaches his duties?

Recourse to Law

As with other breaches of a contractual duty, if a real estate agent does not live up to his side of the bargain, a client who has been damaged by the breach can seek redress in court.

When the principal has been damaged by his agent’s breach, he can ask the court to “rescind” the contract and restore the parties to the positions they had before entering the agreement. In other words, in a purchase and sale transaction where the agent breached a fiduciary duty, the aggrieved party would ask the court to rescind the contract and order the return of the property to the seller and the return of the purchase price to the buyer.

Another possible remedy would be to ask the court to order the return of any commission paid to the breaching agent.

Additionally, if a breach of a real estate agent’s fiduciary duties has caused the principal to suffer money damages, the aggrieved principal could seek damages. This means that he would ask the court to order the agent to compensate him for the actual damages he suffered. So, for  example, if a seller’s agent failed to present a better offer to the seller and as a result the seller accepted a lower offer, the seller could ask the court to order the agent to pay him for the difference between the sale price and the price he could have gotten had he known of the higher offer.

Bear in mind, however, that to establish a claim for breach of fiduciary duty, you must prove the existence of a fiduciary duty; a breach of that duty; and damage proximately caused by the breach.

Under the Brokerage Relationships in Real Estate Transactions Act (“BRRETA”), in Georgia, a real estate licensee can provide services to someone without creating an agency relationship. If that is the case, then the other person is only a “client” not a “principal” to whom fiduciary duties are owed.

The area of real estate agency and brokerage law can be complicated and difficult to understand. That is why, if you have a real estate problem or issue, you should consult with experienced Georgia counsel.

Putting Our Experience To Work for You

At the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, our practice is real estate. We handle all aspects of real estate and real estate litigation. If you have a real estate issue, our experienced real estate attorneys can guide you and give you the legal advice you need. Contact us here or call us at 770-888-7707 to schedule your phone consultation.