Do I have any rights to prosecute my real estate agent (buyer’s agent)?

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Do I have any rights to prosecute my real estate agent (buyer’s agent)?

I feel my attempt to purchase a Connecticut home has been mismanaged by my real estate agent, mortgage broker, and perhaps even my real estate lawyer. The deal may fall through because of their collective lack of attention to details and deadlines. Do I have any rights to prosecute them?

Asked on June 1, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Unless they've done something criminal I don't think prosecution (by the state not you) is in order but certainly you can sue them.  Without specific details its hard to say more.  However, each one of these professionals are licensed by the state and hence each owe a fiduciary duty to you.  At the very least you can report them to their respective licensing boards.

As a practical matter, these kinds of cases can be difficult to prove.  And of course, if you do sue that means going to another attorney.

 

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

It is important to have a basic understanding of the criminal and civil justice systems in this instance. 

In Connecticut, criminal matters are prosecuted by the office of the state's attorney.  When a crime is comitted, the police investigate, make an arrest, and the then the defendant is prosecuted by the state's attorney.  While a private citizen can make a complaint to the police to initiate this process, a private citizen has no ability, on his or her own, to prosecute a criminal matter.  Unless you feel that a crime has been committed, this would not be a criminal matter.

Your case sounds more like a civil action.  In civil actions, an individual can sue another individual (or corporation, etc) for monetary damages or other types of relief.  In order to determine whether you have a valid civil action in this instance, you should consult with an attorney other than your present real estate attorney, since the potential defendants would include your present attorney as well as your agent and your broker.


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