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A Professional License Defense Attorney in Chicago

Discusses Real Estate Professionals and Negligence Claims

If you are a licensed real estate professional, certain aspects of your business can make you susceptible to lawsuits. While it is perfectly understandable that mistakes can happen when you’re balancing clients, prospects, multiple listings, contracts, marketing, open houses, and managing your business, these unintentional mistakes can cause you to be named in a negligence claim.

Additionally, if a lawsuit does not go your way, you may face tough financial penalties, damage to your hard earned reputation, and in some cases, even lose your business. Here, we will explain what negligence is, and how competent real estate professionals inadvertently find themselves involved in a negligence claim. We will also provide you with information on what you can do to protect yourself, your reputation, and your career.

Understanding What Negligence Is

The dictionary definition of negligence is the “failure to exercise the same care that another reasonable person would exercise in similar circumstances.” Unlike fraud taking place in a real estate transaction, negligence lacks intent. In other words, a real estate professional who acts fraudulently is intentionally misleading or duping a client. On the other hand, an honest real estate licensee can fail to take appropriate action, make an error in judgment, or take the wrong action resulting in a negligence lawsuit.

License Defense Attorneys Chicago IL

Negligence is a common basis for lawsuits in the real estate industry. Clients may claim that their agent breached their duty in some way which caused damage or harm. Claims often refer to a failure to disclose relevant information about a property which ends up materially affecting the price paid or the value of the property. However, there are several other common negligence claims, including:

  • The real estate professional has supplied misleading or inaccurate information
  • A real estate agent was acting on behalf of both the seller and the buyer without proper disclosure
  • The real estate licensee has unintentionally shared details, breaching client privacy
  • The agent should have been aware of, and fails to disclose, defects that were found after the purchase was completed

While a negligence claim is less serious than fraudulent misrepresentation, it can still exact serious consequences on a real estate agent’s business and career. It can also be financially devastating, as plaintiffs attempt to recover damages arising from the claim.

Real Estate Professionals and Negligence

A judge or jury decides negligence claims by determining whether a real estate agent exercised sufficient care. If it is determined that the defendant should have known better, the resulting verdict may be costly.

What You Can Do To Avoid a Lawsuit for Negligence

As a real estate professional, it is imperative that you stay on top of every transaction and listing that you are responsible for. Here are some tips recommended by license defense attorneys in Chicago, IL to help you avoid a negligence lawsuit:

  1. Document all directives, discussions, and consents, and make sure to establish clear communication channels between all parties
  2. Always make sure to disclose any problems or material defects which might affect the value or desirability of the property
  3. If you are unsure of something because it is not within the scope of your expertise, do not be afraid to say so. For example, if a buyer asks you about building codes
  4. Taking shortcuts could cost you your career – so don’t rush
  5. Encourage the buyer to complete their own due diligence, including a professional building inspection
  6. Remember there is no substitute for a good Errors and Omissions Insurance Policy – even a good real estate licensee can get caught up in a negligence claim

Zimmerman Law Offices

When you are searching the web for “a professional license defense attorney nearby,” you need look no further than Zimmerman Law Offices. Tom Zimmerman has extensive experience in defending professional licensees from all types of claims, including negligence lawsuits. In and around Chicago, Illinois, he serves clients by providing exceptional legal advice and reliable legal representation. Call or fill out our contact form online to book your free initial consultation. We look forward to assisting you.


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