Top Ways to Get Sued

What are some of the top reasons agents get sued?
I get the above question asked of me on a regular basis and, generally, my answer is “failure to communicate with one’s client or the other side.”However, my answer can be broken down into more specific parts, which include:

1. Failure to explain contract deadlines to one’s client
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2. Failure to relay accurate information to one’s client and/or other parties
3. Failure to explain to one’s client the various sections outlined in the Louisiana Residential Agreement to Buy or Sell
4. Failure to forward to one’s client and/or other parties contract cancellations, inspection reports, and other vital documents
While the above list is not exhaustive, it does seem to capture the most recurring “litigation themes.” And the above is simply a list of real world examples of agents failing to adhere to the legal duties outlined in La. R.S. 9:3893(A).
According to La. R.S. 9:3893(A) an agent representing a client has the following duties:1. Perform the terms of the brokerage agreement between a broker and the client.
2. Promote the best interests of the client by:
a. Seeking a transaction at the price and terms stated in the brokerage agreement or at a price and upon terms otherwise acceptable to the client.
b. Timely presenting all offers to and from the client, unless the client has waived this duty.
c. Timely accounting for all money and property received in which the client has, may have,

or should have had an interest.
3. Exercise reasonable skill and care in the performance of brokerage services.

La. R.S. 9:3893(A)(1) and (2) are fairly self-explanatory.

La. R.S. 9:3893(A)(3) is a little more broad. While “failure to explain contract deadlines” and “failure to explain various sections of the Louisiana Residential Agreement to Buy or Sell” can be deemed as failures to “exercise reasonable skill and care,” there can be many more examples of an agent’s “failure to exercise reasonable skill and care.” In order to get a better handle on what it meas for an agent to “exercise reasonable skill and care in the performance” of their services (and thus what it means to better represent their clients), it is highly recommended that an agent seek out as much “education” as possible from their Broker, co-worker(s), others in the industry, Continuing Education classes, etc.