In real estate, liability is generally the legal obligation or responsibility of a certain individual when using, selling, or trading property. Assessing the type of liability is a necessary step for buyers, owners, agents, and lenders to determine potential situations where they could be obliged to pay or do something in association with the transactions that they will engage in.
Real estate agents owe fiduciary and contractual obligations to their clients. If they breach their contract in performing these responsibilities, they can be held liable for the damages incurred. In some cases, agents can also be held liable to the opposing parties in certain transactions. That is why they should exercise diligence in carrying out their work.
Another particular form of real estate liability is “vicarious liability”, where a person is held responsible for the act of another. For example, the client (who is a seller or buyer) can be held liable for the actions of his agent if he has knowledge of the negligent or improper act committed by the latter. Another example is the case of sub-agency. In this situation, the client and his agent will be held responsible for the actions of the sub-agent (a person who owes fiduciary duties to the agent), given again that they have knowledge of the negligence that was committed.