Home Buying in Encino>Question Details

Jean, Home Buyer in Wildwood, CA

If a seller changes his mind and does not want to sell, and his agent lies to the buyer to get the seller out of the contract, can the agent be sued.

Asked by Jean, Wildwood, CA Sat Feb 5, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


The only way out for the seller is a contingency or mutual agreement for cancellation. Otherwise the seller has to sell. If the agent lies that is another different story. That would be a good question for your attorney

Best of luck,

Maggie Oreck
CalBRE Lic# 01352758
RE/MAX Showcase
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 6, 2015
What did the agent say to persuade you to back out of the contract?

Unless there was a seller contingency (like a requirement where the seller needed to find a replacement property within a time period or he/she could cancel), then there are not many ways for the seller to cancel. If you weren't removing contingencies and acting within the agreed upon time frames, the seller's agent could give you a notice to perform and remove contingencies. If you still failed to remove the contingencies, then the seller could cancel. That being said, cancellation of a contract requires mutual agreement and can sometimes get messy.

The only other scenario I've seen happen with other listing agents and their clients is that their seller is not performing. In other words, the seller agreed to fix certain thing by a certain date, deliver certain disclosures, etc., but was not doing those things. This causes the buyer to give the seller a notice to perform those things and if not done, the buyer can cancel. In essence, the act of the seller not performing pushed the buyer out of the contract.

Lastly, it can be hard to tell if the agent lied or the seller lied to the agent. Some sellers tell half truths or lies and the agent has no way of recognizing the lie. Thereafter, the agent delivers that info to the buyer.

Everything happens for a reason. Try to realize that even though it stinks that you didn't get the house that you wanted, it probably happened because a better priced, perfect home is out there waiting for you to find it! I really wish you the best of luck.

Gregory Masi
Gibson International
C: 310-488-4880
E: Gregory@GregoryMasi.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 7, 2011
What do you want to sue the agent for?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 6, 2011
Yes the seller can be sued unless it was a contigency and they did not remove that contigency. Contact the department of real estate and launch a complaint..If you feel that was the case.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 6, 2011
In this Country you can sue anybody for anything, but that does not mean it will be worth the effort. If you think you have been wronged and should get your day in court consult with an attorney. Lawsuits are time consuming, though. In general, the only parties that make out in a lawsuit are the attorneys. If you are looking to buy a home, move on, and concentrate on finding another one.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 5, 2011
Any time an agent does something unethical or dishonest, that agent is opening himself up for lawsuits.

In California, while the seller's agent does not owe the buyer any fiduciary duty because they are not in a fiduciary relationship, the agent nonetheless has a duty to act in good faith and must not lie on behalf of the seller to get him out the contract. Whether or not what the agent did would give rise to any liability would depend on the facts and circumstances of the case.

We would need to know the factual scenario to figure out if the agent can be sued or the suit will be successful.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 5, 2011
I think you would have a hard time proving that, but we would need more details than what you have said so far.

Was there really a contract ? Had everyone agreed on a price and signed the offer to purchase? That is when you actually have a contract, as long as it is not a short sale in which case you also need the banks signature too. If there was a contract and the seller wants out, you need to discuss it with a lawyer. They can't do that - IF- there was a contract. Now, if there is an offer floating back and forth, the seller can back out and not sell, and he or his agent, can tell you that and be held harmless.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 5, 2011
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