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Long story short, a realtor that sold me a house failed to disclose some significant structural defects that had been communicated to her. I'm not really sure if this realtor is working for Coldwell Banker, or if she's an independent agent working with Coldwell Banker.

So my question - if I were to pursue legal action, would I hypothetically be sueing Coldwell Banker or would I be sueing this agent in particular? Or maybe it could be either depending on the situation?

Also, would the realtor likely be fired as a result of this?

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  • You should ask a lawyer, as random people on the Internet are not reliable sources of information.
    – bdb484
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 20:22
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    To be clear, I'm going to ask a lawyer, but I wanted to ask here first in order to help guide that conversation. Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 20:35
  • Your lawyer should know who to sue.
    – Someone
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 20:40
  • Lawyers know how to guide that conversation. Random people on the Internet do not.
    – bdb484
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 21:57
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    The realtor wasn't the one who sold you the house; the previous owners were. But was this agent representing you, or the sellers, or somehow both? Who hired her? Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 2:47

2 Answers 2

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Basically, you sue everybody that you can: the agency and the agent, and the seller of the seller breached their statutory duty (there is a form that sellers fill out). Your contract might contain specific language that addresses the question, but often state law says that the broker you are working with has a duty of care to you, regardless of his employment relationship with the firm. In two such relations which I personally know about, the broker was definitively "in charge", and was not a mere employee of the (well known national) firms.

Note that the seller probably has a statutory obligation to disclose defects, the specific defects are set by state law.

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You would sue the vendor

You have no basis to sue the agent.

You don’t have a contract with the agent so you don’t have a contract law claim. The agent works for the vendor so they owe them a duty of care which means they don’t owe a duty to you so you have no basis for a tort law claim.

Your contract is with the vendor and it was the vendor’s misrepresentation (through their agent) that caused harm to you. Depending on your jurisdiction, the vendor may be required to disclose defects within their knowledge or not. Notwithstanding, if they actively misled you (e.g. you asked about structural defects and they said there weren’t any) then that is usually actionable in any jurisdiction.

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    In US real estate transactions, often the buyer and seller are each represented by separate agents. It's unclear from the question which agent OP is complaining about (they say "the realtor that sold me a house" but that doesn't make sense). If OP is complaining about their own (buyer's) agent, then that is someone with whom they have a contract. It could be that the seller did make the disclosure to the buyer's agent, who then failed to pass the information along to the buyer. I presume in that case, the buyer would sue their own agent. Commented Nov 28, 2022 at 2:54

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