If you’ve been let down professionally by your estate agent when attempting to buy or sell a property, then you could be the victim of negligence.
If the actions of an estate agent lead you to suffering financial loss or damage, it may be possible to sue estate agent for professional negligence.
In this guide, the legal team at Wilson Browne explains what professional negligence in real estate is and the possibilities of when you might be able to make a claim.
What Is Professional Negligence in Real Estate?
Professional negligence may have occurred when an individual, business or organisation employed in a professional capacity has breached their duty of care towards their client. If this negligence leads to financial loss or other damage, then it is possible to sue the negligent party in order to claim compensation, putting you back in the position you would have been in, had the negligence not occurred.
As estate agents are often qualified and accredited by professional bodies, they can be sued for professional negligence if they fail in their responsibilities towards their clients. There are four key elements that must be proven in order to establish a successful professional negligence claim against a real estate agent:
- A professional duty of care owed to the client must be established
- It must be demonstrated that the estate agent breached the above duty of care
- A client must have suffered some form of financial or personal damage
- It must be proven that the loss was a direct result of negligence on the part of the estate agent
What Are Real Estate Agents Liable For?
The reasons for negligence can vary from one case to the next, but the following are common examples of estate agents acting in a professionally negligent manner:
- Marketing a property below its market value, leading to financial loss
- Marketing a property above its market value, resulting in a slow sale or increased administrative costs
- Knowingly providing incorrect advice or information
- Failing to let rental properties at market rates
- Providing legal advice when not qualified to do so
There are many more instances that could be considered professional negligence, so speak to a legal professional if you’re unsure whether or not you may have a claim.
How Do I Make a Formal Complaint Against an Estate Agent?
Before attempting to sue an estate agent for damages, there is a particular Pre-Action Protocol that must be followed by all parties involved in a dispute. Rather than simply taking your estate agent to court, the best course of action is to first make a formal complaint and to attempt to resolve the issue independently or through arbitration.
Reputable companies should have a complaints procedure that can be followed. If this doesn’t work and matters cannot be concluded, it is possible to contact the legal ombudsman in order to escalate the matter, before taking legal action. A professional negligence solicitor can provide advice on making a formal complaint, before taking the issue further if necessary.
Contact Wilson Browne for Expert Legal Advice on Professional Negligence Claims Against Estate Agents
Incidents of professional negligence against real estate agents can be difficult and complicated cases to prove, so it’s important that you seek professional advice from skilled lawyers before pursuing a claim.
Contact our expert team of lawyers today to find out more about how Wilson Browne’s legal team can help you to pursue a professional negligence claim against a real estate agent.