Question: Is there liability for being called an “expert”?
Answer: Possibly. When an agent uses the word “expert” to describe themselves it can create the impression that they have a greater proficiency than other individuals in the same area of practice. Adopting the title of expert is going to be adopting a higher standard of care.
For example, if an agent holds themselves out as an expert in short sales or leasing the consumer is likely to get the impression they specialize in this area of practice. If a problem arises and litigation ensues, because the agent has held themselves out as an expert there is a great likelihood the attorney for the other side would exploit the representation as an expert to their benefit. Attorneys would argue that because the agent represented themselves as an expert there was little room for error on behalf of the agent. Additionally, lawyers would have an argument that because they are considered an expert the agent operated at a higher level than other agents. Lawyers will generally look to websites and other advertisements to find these representations in preparing their case.
Agents should be advised that representing themselves as experts has its consequences and thus should be used cautiously.