FRAUD & DTPA VIOLATIONS
To hold the Sellers’ Agent liable for DTPA or Fraud, you have to show that they had actual knowledge of the actual defect or condition complained of. In Pfeiffer v. Ebby Halliday Real Estate, 747 S.W.2d 887, 890 (Tex.App---Dallas 1988, no writ), the court concluded that the listing agent's knowledge that the house's foundation had been repaired, that soil conditions in the area often created foundation damage, that the house's foundation problems were common knowledge among real estate agents in the area, and that the owner of house was a friend of the listing agent were insufficient to support jury's finding that listing agent had knowledge of house's foundation problems. While it is clear that the evidence was not enough to establish that the Listing Realtor had actual knowledge of the condition complained of, the Realtor would be responsible if the facts are shown that they had actual knowledge of the defect or condition. See also Sherman v. Elkowitz, 130 S.W.3d 316 (Tex. App. – Houston [14th Dist.] 2004, no writ.).
So how do you prove that the Listing Realtor had actual knowledge of the defect? You have to get the Seller to throw the Realtor under the bus. Absent that, it can be difficult to hold the Listing Broker liable.
There are other possibilities including when a request for a repair is asked for and the Sellers’ Realtor misrepresents the repairs or subsequent condition.