Release of Real Estate Agents Probably Not Enforceable

Question: In a recent column you said that under the AAR Purchase Contract the seller and the buyer release their real estate agents from any liability in the transaction.  We sold our Chandler home in July. Neither my husband nor I remember seeing this release language in our AAR Purchase Contract. When we reviewed lines 428-434 of our AAR Purchase Contract, however, we were shocked to see that not only did we release our real estate agent and the buyer’s agent, but the release was in bold print, and we initialed this release. At that time we just signed and initialed wherever our real estate agent told us to sign and initial on the AAR Purchase Contract. Although our real estate agent was excellent, shouldn’t she have explained to us that we were releasing both her and the buyer’s agent from any liability if she made a mistake?

Answer: Probably. As I said in my recent column, however, lines 428-434 in the AAR Purchase Contract are probably not enforceable by the real estate agents, despite the bold print and the initialing by the seller and buyer. If the language on lines 428-434 of the AAR Purchase Contract was changed to reasonably limit the liability of the real estate agents, e.g., to the amount of their commissions, that language would probably be enforceable.

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