Texas Listing Agent's Legal Duty to Inspect Property for Defects

Does a Texas listing agent have a legal duty to inspect the property for defects ? In Kubinsky v. Van Zandt Realtors, 811 S.W.2d 711 (Tex.App.--Fort Worth 1991, writ denied), the court addressed an issue concerning a realtor's liability to prospective buyers. In that case, the appellants bought a house which they later discovered had foundation problems. Before the purchase, the appellants' inspector noted there was "evidence of minor foundation movement noted on East Side of House. No major movement noted at this time." Later, the appellants found out that the previous owners had done extensive foundation work on the house about three months before they sold it. In their suit, the appellants sought to hold the listing realtors responsible, which presented a question for the court as to whether a listing agent has a legal duty to inspect the listed property for defects, aside from merely asking the sellers if defects exist. Declining to follow California authority cited by the appellants, the Fort Worth court held that a real estate agent has no duty to inspect property in order to discover defects. Id. at 715.