What is a realtor liable for post-closing?

We just purchased a home and a month later the pipes stopped draining. The real estate agent said “don’t worry, the insurance will take care of it”. The insurance did not take care of this and we had to pay $1500 to fix it. The real estate agent also said she would help us get that money back; that was a month ago. She also said she would have an inspector confirm the repairs we asked to be fixed would send us a report, but all she did was tell us the day she gave us the keys “sign these papers saying the work was done, you can see the work yourself”. The realtor was great at the beginning but the last steps were so confusing, this is our first home and we didn’t know a lot about buying. Now we got hit with a supplementary tax and we don’t know why. Do we need to hire a lawyer to try and get the money back? Is this how it is when you buy a home? What should we do?

Asked on June 26, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You probably can't sue for the supplementary tax, because that is something so beyond the realtor's control.  However realtor's remain liable for misrepresentations and fraud after closing.  If the realtor misrepresented the condition of the property, the quality of the repairs, etc. then you have a good lawsuit.  The problem is that you are talking about a relatively small amount of money here (2-3k) and filing fees in civil lawsuits are quite big $400+, while paying an attorney to go after this realtor will probably cost another 2-3k, unless you can find an attorney to take this on contingency.  I would read the contract you had with the realtor. File a small claims case for fraud/misrepresentation and breach of contract.  The realtor will most likely settle with you.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.