Can I sue my realtor for faking e-mails from a seller?

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Can I sue my realtor for faking e-mails from a seller?

Our first offer was submitted through our realtor but the seller countered. We then submitted a counter-offer to the agent. The agent said that they rejected it, so we then submitted 3 more offers, all of which were all rejected via e-mail. The e-mails were never directly from the seller just a copy paste from the realtor. The house recently was marked at pending as another person had an offer accepted. So we called the seller (a foreclosure company) and they said they never received any offers except our first offer. So the realtor faked the e-mails. What kind of legal action can I take?

Asked on April 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the realtor for fraud.  Fraud is the misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of it falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance causing you to justifiably rely to your detriment.

The realtor's phony e-mails misrepresented the seller's responses and were made with knowledge that they were false to induce your reliance.  You justifiably relied to your detriment.

In addition to your cause of action (claim) for fraud in your lawsuit against the realtor, you would also have a separate cause of action for breach of contract.  The realtor's phony e-mails breached your contract as the contract would have required good faith/fair dealing between the realtor and yourself.

Damages (monetary compensation) for fraud would be either benefit-of-the-bargain or out-of-pocket loss.  Benefit-of-the-bargain would be the difference between what you paid and what you should have paid.  For example, if losing the opportunity to buy the house on which you made the offers where the realtor faked the e-mail rejections caused you to end up buying a more expensive house.  You would have to mitigate (minimize) damages and could not just select the most expensive house you can find, but  something comparable in price in the area or your damages will be reduced accordingly.  Out-of-pocket loss would be what you paid the realtor which is probably not applicable because the realtor would be paid a commission if there had been a sale.


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