The role of the real estate agent and broker in a Georgia real estate transaction is often misconstrued.
One of the services that I offer is expert testimony regarding the actions of agents and brokers in real estate transactions that result in lawsuits.
In most situations, the first call from the lawyer pretty much puts an end to the potential case. For some reason, there is a common public perception, even amongst those in the legal realm, that agents and brokers have a lot more responsibilities in a transaction than they actually do.
In Georgia our duties obligations to our clients MUST be clearly stated in writing and agreed to by both broker and client. In most cases these duties are VERY limited.
Oddly enough, many agents and brokers get into trouble by doing TOO MUCH! They go beyond the scope of there agency agreement and in doing so potentially expose themselves to indefensible litigation.
Of course they mean well. They really want to help. And in many cases they do help their clients with their wealth of experience and knowledge.
But when things go awry, the blame games begin. What was once regarded as good advice is now the basis of a claim for damages.
Brokers must have clear policies and procedures in place and enforce them.
When in doubt, agents should consult with their qualifying broker. Brokers should consult with an attorney.
Disclaimer: The above represents the opinion of a Georgia Real Estate Broker and not an attorney. Also speak to attorney when seeking legal advice.