If our agent hid the fact that the house of our first choice became available before we closed the deal on a house of her own listing, can we sue her?

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If our agent hid the fact that the house of our first choice became available before we closed the deal on a house of her own listing, can we sue her?

We were forced to back out of the house of our first choice because seller was legally bound to the first bidder, who removed contingency on their offer. We moved on and made an offer to another house which was accepted. Before we finalized this deal, the first one became available and our agent was notified (we have proof). She did not share this info with us because – we think – she represented the seller for the second house (most to gain by selling it). Had we known, we would have reconsidered and probably got the first house (even with the penalty). Do we have grounds to sue her office?

Asked on August 1, 2011 Indiana

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

All the facts and circumstances have to be considered in light of the case law in your state regarding the issue of agency, liability, errors and omissions.  Certain states have enacted disclosure laws regarding real estate agents and the obligations that they have to both the buyer and the seller.  Many states have laws that indicate that they are the agent of the seller only and so what their obligation to you under the set or facts you stated may not be as you would like.  Seek legal counsel from an attorney in your area.  It is unclear what you would consider your damages to be as recoverable in this situation, especially if the other house is already sold and you have closed on this one.  Good luck. 

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

All the facts and circumstances have to be considered in light of the case law in your state regarding the issue of agency, liability, errors and omissions.  Certain states have enacted disclosure laws regarding real estate agents and the obligations that they have to both the buyer and the seller.  Many states have laws that indicate that they are the agent of the seller only and so what their obligation to you under the set or facts you stated may not be as you would like.  Seek legal counsel from an attorney in your area.  It is unclear what you would consider your damages to be as recoverable in this situation, especially if the other house is already sold and you have closed on this one.  Good luck. 


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