How you can avoid being sued by your clients as a realtor

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2019 | Residential Real Estate Closings

Many people who aren’t involved in the real estate industry think that selling a house is relatively easy. Few realize how much work is involved in securing a listing, generating interest among qualified buyers, negotiating an offer and getting a client to the closing table. One reason that Augusta realtors take classes and have to pass a test to become a licensed realtor in Georgia is to minimize their risk of being sued.

One way that realtors can avoid being sued by a client is giving them honest expectations. It’s important for a realtor to be as prompt and as upfront as possible when advising their clients of the benefits and risks associated with moving forward in the sales process. One common reason that realtors are sued along this vein is that they overstate how much they believe they can sell a house for.

Another reason that realtors end up getting sued is that they decide to deal with a client that’s too demanding, discriminatory, fraudulent or unethical. Your client should trust your expertise in the field of real estate. If they seem to want to call all the shots or question your judgment, then you may want to steer clear of them unless you want to put the reputation that you’ve built for yourself in jeopardy.

Realtors also often get sued when they attempt to make decisions for clients instead of empowering them to do so themselves. This makes it too easy for them to accuse you of pointing them in the wrong direction instead of looking out for their best interests.

One way in which realtors can avoid being sued is by documenting all interactions with clients in writing. When you call a client to advise them that it’s in their best interest to take certain steps and they go against what you recommend, you should immediately draft an email detailing your conversation after you hang up the phone.

Realtors who are able to resolve issues over fees with their clients without them having to file a dispute are less apt to have a grievance filed against them. Liability insurance can protect you as a realtor from financial ruin if you’re sued. An attorney can provide you and your clients with an extra dose of experience when buying or selling a property.