Most states have a broad body of statutory and case law which governs the relationship between real estate agents and brokers and their clients. Moreover, members of the National Association of Realtors must abide by the association's code of ethics in all their professional dealings with clients.
Real estate agents and brokers have a duty to act in accordance with the accepted standard of care in the real estate profession. They also have a fiduciary duty to their clients to represent and advise them about the real estate transaction. When an agent or broker fails to act in accordance with the required standard of care or breaches her fiduciary duty to the client, the client may have a claim for real estate malpractice.
A client may sue a real estate agent for malpractice for a variety of reasons. Among the most common grounds for a real estate malpractice suit are:
Real estate malpractice lawsuits may also include allegations that the agent or broker failed to communicate with the client or failed to follow the client's instructions.
If a plaintiff is successful in a real estate malpractice case, he may be awarded compensatory damages, nominal damages, and punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant whose grossly negligent acts harmed the plaintiff.
If you believe you have been the victim of real estate malpractice, you should consult with a qualified malpractice attorney. He will evaluate your case to determine whether you have a valid claim and will advise you of your legal options.