Home Buying in 64111>Question Details

Aread, Home Buyer in Kansas City, MO

We want to know if we have a case for a lawsuit against the broker/agent for a home we have under contract.

Asked by Aread, Kansas City, MO Thu Jun 19, 2008

the listing agent was adamant about only allowing 7 days for inspection and did not disclose to us serious issues with the electrical wiring/breaker and plumbing (obvious, not latent). She also lied to our agent when asked why the prior prospective buyer backed out. We were told it was because the out of town investor (buyer) changed their mind and had nothing to do with inspection. In addition, the house next door is a half-way house for criminal teenage boys! Our agent found out the day of inspection when a caseworker showed up to check on one of the boys. I know prior knowledge of this would be hard to prove, but for the defects with the house, could we have the prior inspection subpoenaed for our lawsuit? She is very slow to respond to us and we are now looking for another house. Our agent and the inspector are familiar with her and told us that she is notorious for being unethical and that we could file a lawsuit in addition to reporting her to the Missouri Real Estate Commission

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Answers

20
Sorry to hear of your difficulties. Please know the majority of real estate professionals do not conduct themselves in this manner.

I am not a lawyer and am not giving you legal advice. I would suggest first buying a home, which is your immediate goal.

Second, check with your state real estate commission on the laws governing licened agents. Also with the local Board of Realtors. Then check with a real estate attorney. Once you have all the information and options at hand, you are ready to take whatever course of action you deem apporpriate.

Good luck!

Dominick Dina
Christian Realty San Antonio
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 5, 2008
Thanks for all the input. Unfortunately, Karen DeLaney IS K.L. Delaney Company, therefore she is her own broker. She still has not responded to the numerous calls and emails from our agent, and we have since backed out of the contract. Although we may not waste our time with a lawsuit that will only make insurance more expensive for the rest of you, we definately plan to file a complaint with the Missouri Real Estate Commission. Any fines they give her is not payable by her insurance policy. I also dropped a dime on her with my boss (a prominent businessman here in KC) so her reputation is soiled if it hasn't been already.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 25, 2008
Gosh Lonna,
I'm amazed that every one of the agents on this page answered as if they were an attorney. Considering the question is "we want to know if we have a case for a lawsuit.....", you need to contact your attorney for any legal question or information. Any realtor who gives out legal advice probably shouldn't be licensed and is looking to be sued.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I didn't see any legal advice there. No case citing, no precedents pending. All I read is ethical agents saying that the state commissioner should be contacted in the hope that if this agent is wht the post says she is then we cna be rid of one more un-ethical person from our midst.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 24, 2008
Jed Lane, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
MVP'08
Contact
My apologies for the typos!

Larry
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 17, 2010
Obsevrations:

1. You are fortunate you found these items before you sepnt too much time or effort.....! Good work!
2. I am not an attorney..just an architect.
3. I would think filing at the Real Estate Commission is a necessity...to protect those behind you, not for venegence.
4. Once you see if the Commission finds she was neglectful, you will have done an administrative procedure first, so you can then go to court ( min. requirement).
5. If this happened in Jackson County; suing in the 16th is ......potentially a very bad waste of resources. There is a degree of chance that unless you pick a really upright attorney, they will sell you out to please the judge; the Judge may be biased from the outset aganist you; if you are black, forget about filing suit in Jackson County. Period. You have no rights in fact or in law, only....we think we have rights because we read about them. For blakcs, those rights do not exist.
6. If you think there is the possibility of civil rights violations, follow the procedures for a Human Rights Commission filing. Be forewarned, if you are minority and in the Eighth Federal District, forget about getting a fair hearing when you get to Federal Court, based on who gets the Civil Rights matters. Forget it.
7. As far as suing a person who did what they did, they may or may not have professional errors and ommissions insurance.....if they do have assets, they have hidden them well.

My conclusion is....forget about any lawsuits, your money is too hard earned. Do know that you ahve to be that diligent about listening and watching the signals professionals send. Be extremely diligent about the mortgage issuer and servicer, as you are about the house itself.

Hope you find a great house!


Larry
Web Reference: http://futurenowus.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 17, 2010
I came across this site and I thought that it would be interesting regarding your cas here: http://homebuying.about.com/cs/lawsethics/

Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help you here. Do you think that this would make for a good topic on my radio show http://www.Door2Doorkc.com ? I think we might want to do a short interview discussing what happened......
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 20, 2008
So, whatever happened with your purchase? Did you find a home? How about your situation with the realtor? Were you able to contact the Board? What did they say?
Web Reference: http://www.MariaSellsKC.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 15, 2008
This story sounds as though you dodged a bullet from an unethical person. In regards to a lawsuit, it should probably be reserved for cases where you actually incurred damages or experienced a loss as opposed to just narrowly avoiding one. It seems that it will not be worth your time to go after anyone involved objectively speaking. You should however contact the real estate commission and file a complaint. Good luck in your home search....sounds like you will be carefully making your next decision.

David Van Noy Jr
(816) 536-7653
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 9, 2008
For the lawsuit, you need to consult with an attorney. Contacting the MREC and Kansas City Association of Realtors can be done with a phone call.
Physical defects are required to be disclosed.
The half way house issue is something that the realtor is not responsible to know about or disclose. This and sex offender information is out of the realm of real estate. There are websites available for the general public to obtain this knowledge and your local police department can help you find that information as well.

I am sorry to hear of your experience. Most of us act with moral and ethical responsiblity; those realtors who do not are a bane to our profession.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 7, 2008
Before you proceed to look for and place an offer on another property, be sure to officially cancel the offer on this now unwanted property. In Florida, that must be done in writing. If your agent cannot reach the listing agent, contact the broker instead. You have a limited number of days after the inspection to officially cancel based on the inspections. Do it immediately.

The failure to disclose is a serious breach of ethics, and it is sad to all the ethical and professional Realtors that one "bad apple" has spoiled some of the joy of buying a home for you. Your agent should at least contact the managing broker is this agent is not one in the same. As professionals, we do have a certain responsibility to monitor and police our own members.

You would need the advice of an attorney to determine the veracity of a lawsuit. Damages would be minimal if you learned in time to avoid buying this home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 27, 2008
After you locate the home that you want and have the time for pursuit of this issue, it might be interesting to locate others that this agent has harmed with non-disclosure and unethical practices, in order to bolster your case. I'd love to see an agent like this GONE.
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 5, 2008
Excellent post Jim Carson...


--->>>As the market sinks he is finding more and more desperate realestate agents sinking thier morals and bending the rules. His advice contact an attorney(surprised?) and don't listen to others hearsay about laws. He finds more often than not there is a good case in matters such as yours but most people just don't follow through with what should be done.--->>>


Like you've just stated: "most people just don't follow through .."

Most people get caught up in the next looking phase, then buying and then the moving aspect of their new home, then this becomes secondary at best ...

Aread, check with a quality real estate attorney ... if you would have had one at the time, we wouldn't be having this conversation right now ...

Keep in mind, the broker business is structured just like car dealerships ... any grievances are looked at and internalized, then get very muted not to gain any bad press... if nothing else, file your grievance with the Attorney Generals office..


-
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 4, 2008
Hi,

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. I do not, however, understand what you would personally gain from filing a lawsuit. If you would have closed on a property and later found out that the agent intentionally withheld information about material defects, you might have a case to sue for damages since you would own a property that you might not have purchased if all facts were disclosed. Since you terminated the contract, what were your damages? Perhaps you could ask the broker to reimburse you for any out of pocket expenses (inspection fees?) that you incurred?

If the agent did withhold material facts relevant to a buyer’s decision or misrepresent information, this should be addressed. While it might not make up for your frustrations or waste of time, if the allegations are true, the situation should be addressed. If this person were an agent working for a broker, I would first suggest to reach to that supervising broker. In the circumstances that you describe, the person is the broker. Therefore, I would suggest that you file a complaint. The Board will determine the merit of the complaint and move forward or not, accordingly. When filing your complaint, document dates, times, and quotes where possible.

It may be worth a consultation w/ an attorney, because I am not qualified to give legal advice. In my lay person’s opinion, I suspect there isn’t a civil case.

Deborah
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 4, 2008
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
MVP'08
Contact
I was speaking with a well respected realestate attorney about your sisituation. He indicated you are not a lone many others in our area are in the same boat. As the market sinks he is finding more and more desperate realestate agents sinking thier morals and bending the rules. His advice contact an attorney(surprised?) and don't listen to others hearsay about laws. He finds more often than not there is a good case in matters such as yours but most people just don't follow through with what should be done.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 4, 2008
I too have had dealings with less than ethical agents in the recent past. You may wish to contact your county codes and assessors offices. I found out tons of information about past inquiries, inspections and even sellers agent requesting that past violations not be given out to perspective buyers. I agree with the previous posters contact an attorney. I wouldn’t bother contacting the selling agent or company if this person is operating in this manor. It is probably accepted by his agency and even encouraged.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 29, 2008
Sounds like the advice was absolutely appropriate, I have dealt with this agent first hand a couple of times and she has difficulty getting to calls sometimes. I don't know anymore about the story to say if it was a mishap or a misunderstanding but your best recourse is probably through the banks that typically employ or provide the listings to the "foreclosure specialist" like the one you are talking about. Glad you were heard at least....maybe find out what bank had it and call their REO manager. just another idea.....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 26, 2008
I'm amazed that every one of the agents on this page answered as if they were an attorney. Considering the question is "we want to know if we have a case for a lawsuit.....", you need to contact your attorney for any legal question or information. Any realtor who gives out legal advice probably shouldn't be licensed and is looking to be sued.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 24, 2008
I am sorry to tell you that the law in Missouri for real estate agents does not require this agent to disclose to you the half-way house or any other issues related to things outside the facts of the house. Although the laws in this area are always changing a good example for you is that the agents are NOT required to tell you if they know a sexual predator lives in your neighborhood. The court ruled that it was not in the agents duties to clients. So, funny but we are by law required to tell you more about a roof leak than we are about things that may REALLY affect the homes value to you.

In fairness to you, there is no case against the listing agent and apparently th 7days insistence should of been a red flag to your agent. Very sorry, but the law is not in your favor here. Good luck with the NEW house...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 19, 2008
Please do. A person like that does no one any good. If what happend to you happened here in California, the agent could lose her license and the seller could be liable for damages for actions taken by the agent. If the agent is a Realtor there might be ethical violations so check with the local board of Realtors too. Ehical issues are a function of the Realtor code not the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Real Estate. License issues are disclosure laws, business code and standard of care issues.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 19, 2008
Jed Lane, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
MVP'08
Contact
Quite simply, in Missouri, if an agent has knowledge of a material defect they must disclose regardless of agency. They key will be finding a copy of the previous inspection. A subpoena will probably be in order but that is for an attorney to decide. If you can get that inspection and prove the agent had knowledge of the inspection you should be good.

Oh, and there is a form called the Resolution to Unacceptable Conditions here in KC. You may subpoena that from the listing agent's files, as well. That will give you details as to why the previous contract fell through.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 19, 2008
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