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Your guide to estate agent negligence

Estate agent showing a property to a client

However, there are occasions when estate agents can make mistakes as a result of negligence. The effects of this negligence can prove incredibly costly to the client, who might lose out on the home of their dreams or sell their existing property for significantly less than it’s worth.

If you feel you’ve been left out of pocket as a result of an estate agent’s negligence, you could be able to make a claim for professional negligence compensation.

What is professional negligence?

According to English law, professional negligence is when a professional, such as a lawyer, an engineer, an accountant or an estate agent, fails to perform their responsibilities to the standard that any client could reasonably expect of them.

In order to prove professional negligence on the part of an estate agent, you’ll need to be able to demonstrate three things:

  • That your estate agent owed you a duty of care
  • That the estate agent breached that duty of care
  • That their negligence resulted in financial loss to yourself

At Your Legal Friend, we understand just how overwhelming it can be to consider a professional negligence claim against your estate agent – especially if you’re still dealing with the fallout that the negligence caused. Our expert team of highly experienced solicitors will make the process as stress-free as possible and will fight to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

An estate agent’s duties and responsibilities

An estate agent has a number of responsibilities and tasks that they perform daily as part of their job. Essentially, they act as brokers while selling their clients’ homes, marketing the property and liaising with potential buyers. They also play a role in leasing properties on behalf of their clients.

Estate agents must, at all times, represent saleable properties to potential buyers in an honest manner, negotiating sales at the best possible price and ensuring that the sale is completed in the fastest possible time.

Naturally, there is a lot riding on the successful completion of a property sale. If an estate agent acts negligently during the process, their clients can find themselves suffering financial losses, as well the emotional pressure that may come as a result of such an important transaction falling through.

Professional negligence claims against estate agents

If you’ve suffered a financial loss as a direct result of your estate agent’s negligence, you may be able to bring a professional negligence claim against them to recover your losses and win additional compensation for any stress caused. Here are some examples of negligence by estate agents which could result in a claim:

  • The estate agent negligently drafted a property’s particulars of sale
  • The agent offered a property for sale at an incorrect or inappropriate value
  • They failed to provide advice based on a fast-changing property market
  • They made errors in their role as a letting agent
  • The agent offered legal advice outside the limit of their professional competence

This is, by no means, a comprehensive list of all the negligent actions an estate agent could carry out.

The consequences of an estate agent’s negligence

Negligence by an estate agent can have a catastrophic impact on the lives and financial status of a client. If an estate agent offers a property for sale far below the market value, the client could lose out on thousands of pounds. Delays or errors when drafting lease documents could lead to a loss of income for buy-to-let landlords, and incorrect advice from an estate agent could lead to a client accepting a low offer or needlessly delaying the sale of their property.

Of course, there are also the emotional consequences of negligence. Having a property transaction fall through, or learning that you’ve lost thousands of pounds based on bad advice can be traumatic for the client.

Making a claim against your estate agent

At Your Legal Friend, we have the skills and experience to help you pursue a successful professional negligence claim. So that we can represent you effectively, we’ll need to know the following things:

  • The name of your estate agent
  • What you instructed the estate agent to do
  • When you instructed them
  • How you feel the estate agent was negligent
  • The financial loss that you feel this negligence caused

Once you’ve supplied us with these details, we can start investigating the case and advising you on your next steps.

Most estate agents have professional indemnity insurance which will ensure you recover the full amount from them when you win your case.

Time limitations

  • Professional negligence claims must be brought within six years of the day on which the negligent act occurred. If you haven’t brought a claim by this deadline, you will be unable to do so.
  • Sometimes, claimants aren’t actually aware of the negligence when it first occurs, and so the first rule would be unfair to these people. In this instance, the claimant would have three years from the date of discovering the negligence to bring their claim to court.

How Your Legal Friend can help

We know that the prospect of taking an estate agent to court can be daunting. But our experienced team of professional negligence solicitors has the skills and experience to ensure your estate agent is held to account.  We’ll act quickly and provide you with sympathetic, practical, jargon-free advice to help you secure the compensation you deserve.

Throughout your claim, Your Legal Friend will help you every step of the way

  • Specialist team of professional negligence solicitors
  • A wealth of knowledge and expertise
  • Advice, support and guidance throughout your claim
  • Over 30 years’ experience in personal injury compensation