In order to protect consumers from the "caveat Emptor" mentality in our free enterprise system, laws were passed that attempt to protect consumers from shady practices. Is a lie still a lie if it is committed through omission? What we don't say sometimes screams out loudly when it becomes apparent at a future date.
In the case of Real Estate dealings, a document prepared by the seller has to be given the prospective buyer stating all known material defects on a property prior to the sale. If a seller does not fully disclose "known material defects" then the buyer has full legal recourse against the seller should defects crop up after the closing.
The defense used by sellers usually comes about in the following manner.... " Duh... I didn't know that...."
Ok... the buyer now has to prove that the seller was fully aware of conditions and failed to disclose them.
What happens when a Real estate Agency gets thrown into the mix?
What if the Realtor, is aware of problems that are not documented on the Property disclosure Forms?
Worse yet..... what if the Realtor did not know, thought they were covered by other professional reports, and yet the Jury finds against the Realtor.