Real Estate Brokers

Two Year Statute of Limitations Does Not Apply to Standard Breach of Fiduciary duty Claim. The two year statute of limitations contained in Civil Code section 2079.4 was held inapplicable to a breach of fiduciary duty claim asserted by a purchaser against a broker who exclusively represented the purchaser. Section 2079.4 applies only to actions based upon a breach of Civil Code sections 2079 through 2079.24, which govern limited non-fiduciary duties owed by the sellerís broker to a prospective purchaser. Where, as here, the broker is sued for breach of fiduciary duty by his/her principal, even though that principal is a purchaser, the traditional four year statute of limitations applies. (Field v. Century 21 Klowden-Forness Realty (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 18.)


Dual Agency Must be Disclosed Early in Transaction. A real estate broker must disclose the existence of a dual agency (i.e., that he/she represents both parties to a transaction) as soon as is practicable before presenting any offers. In this case, the existence of a dual agency was disclosed to the seller when the escrow instructions were being signed, but after the parties had negotiated a reduced selling price. The court held that this disclosure came too late to be effective, and reversed the judgment which had been entered in favor of the broker. (Brown v. FSR Brokerage, Inc. (1998) 62 Cal.App.4th 766.)

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