What to do about a real estate agent’s negligence regarding non-disclosure of a material issue?

I just bought a house located close to an airport. After I moved in, I found that it’s very noisy in this area and I almost couldn’t sleep for the first couple of weeks. My real estate agent did not bring this to my notice and did not remind me anything about the airport noise issue. I am very regretful to buy this

place. I am wondering if this is his negligence not notifying me about the airport noise issue? Can I sue him for compensation?

Asked on November 4, 2017 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot sue the agent for compensation for this:
1) It is not the agent who would be liable for a non-disclosure; if anyone would be (though in this case, no one is; see below), it would be the seller, not the agent. The agent has no duty to research the home and provide information about it.
2) Even the seller would not be liable because there is no obligation to provide information about the surrounding community, facilities, environment, etc.--only about conditions on or from the property itself. The airport is not  part of the property; there was no duty to disclose information about it, and without a duty, there is no liability.
3) Furthermore, there is no liabilty for failing to dislose non-hidden or difficult-to-determine conditions; if something is reasonably obvious or readily discoverable, the buyer is expected to find it out for him/herself. The location of the airport is public and obvious; no one needs to tell you that a home near an airport may experience noise.

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