I have a contract with buyer but she did not disclose in writing she was a CA real esate agent. Can I terminate the contract somehow?

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I have a contract with buyer but she did not disclose in writing she was a CA real esate agent. Can I terminate the contract somehow?

The contract is signed and the contingencies are in place with deadlines – like one in 48 hours for buyer to remove contingencies. I read that I must give her 48 hours to perform – but in the meantime I have felt my agent and the buyer who are both in another state have not disclosed to me that buyer is an agent. I also think my agent gave her a copy of a home inspection we did privately over a year ago for our own interests – and I shared with him. When I told my agent I was not okay with the deal becasue of her being an agent and his not informing me of some details he keeps pushing me to do the deal and is telling buyer that she should hurry with paperwork – the escrow company told me this in confidence I am not sure what to do because if my agent does not have my best interest, and pushed us to sell at way below value with all sorts of added extras, and the buyer is unethical as an agent – I want out of this deal. Is it possible ?

Asked on October 29, 2016 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) The fact that she is a real estate agent is completely legally irrelevant to the home sale; there is no obligation to disclose someone's profession, and realtors are certainly allowed to buy homes, whether for residence or as investment properties.
2) You say he "pushed" you to sell below value--if you agreed to do so and he did not use illegal pressure (e.g. threats of violence, extortion, etc.) then you agreed to sell for a certain price. You may regret it now, and you may feel that you were "pressured," but the law does not recognize "pressure" as grounds to terminate or void a contract--after all, many transactions involve "pressure" to buy or sell (e.g. have you have dealt with the average car salesperson? Certainly they try to pressure you to buy, and buy right now.). As long as illegal means are not used, someone can pressure you to sell.
Therefore, based on what you write, you have to hope that the buyer does not properly perform under, or breaches, the contract; then you can escape it due to that breach or due to the terms/contingencies of the contract itself. But what you indicate does not provide an independent reason to escape the contract. 
3) It is possible that if your agent is collaborating with the buyer against you, that if this is not a disclosed dual representation situation, that there is a conflict or breach of fiduciary duty on the agent's part, which would let you potentially sue him or his agency for compensation. Be warned though that such suits can be very difficult to prove, because they turn on subtleties, not anything obvious and physical and easy to prove, like damage or lack of payment.


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