The California Court of Appeals in Saffie v. Scheming (2014) 224 Cal.App. 4th 563, recently held that a seller’s broker has a duty to be factually accurate and not much more. The Court of Appeals determined that the seller’s broker had fulfilled his duties to the buyer by simply ensuring the accuracy of the information in the MLS listing including providing details of a report the seller had obtained. The seller’s broker, in Saffie, did not disclose that the information in the report (about whether a property was buildable) may no longer be accurate given that years had passed since seller’s expert had prepared a fault zone report and the law had changed. The Court of Appeals held that it was enough that the seller’s broker had ensured the accuracy of the information in the MLS listing by obtaining a copy of the report at issue (a fault hazard investigation) and accurately describing the report and its conclusions. This ruling suggest a fairly high standard for finding Seller’s Broker’s liability for information provided in an MLS listing for the sale of real property.
This case touched on Civil Code section 1088 which imposes an express statutory obligation on brokers posting information on the MLS to make sure the information is truthful. Section 1088 provides that the border “shall be responsible for the truth of all representations and statements made by the Agent” in the MLS.
At Schorr Law, our real estate lawyers frequently deal with both buyer and seller broker liability. We have successfully brought claims and defended claims against brokers based on problems that arise during and after purchase and sale transactions. Contact us today to inquire about a free 30 minute consultation and case evaluation.