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Common Types of Real Estate Agent or Broker Fraud

Misrepresentation | Noncompliance with Disclosure Requirements | Licensing Violations

Common Types of Real Estate Agent or Broker FraudThe purchase of a new home probably will be the largest financial transaction most peopleenter into. Real estate deals are complex, and most buyers put their trust in real estate agents and brokers to ensure that they get the terms they expect. Unfortunately, broker or agent fraud is far too common. Here are some typical examples of fraud by real estate agents or brokers.

Misrepresentation of a Material Fact

A broker or agent commitsfraud or misrepresentation if he or she intentionally makes a false assertion of fact. A broker mightmisrepresent the age of a house, the size of the property, or prior uses of the buildings and grounds. An agent or broker also might make false statements about his or her qualifications, experience or licensing, and may even provide fake credentials. You should pay particularly attention if there’s only one agent involved in the transaction. That person may intentionally make false assertions about the property to boost the sale price, as they usually stand to collect a percentage-based commission on the sale.

Failure to Provide Appropriate Disclosures

Brokers and agents are legally required to provide certain basic disclosures to both buyers and sellers. For example, an agent or broker must disclose to a potential purchaser any known defects toeither land or structures.

It’s important to understand that a real estate broker or agent owes you a fiduciary duty. That requires them to be honest in all dealings with you and make decisions in your best interests, not theirs. Be careful that your agent or broker doesn’t:

  • Fail to inform you of all offers made or whether an offer has been accepted
  • Make, reject, or accept an offer without your approval, or
  • Receive any fees or profits that are not disclosed to you.

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