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Real Estate Agent listed lied about upgrades and failed to disclose many items in listing. Case for Errors and Omissions?

Encino, CA |

We recently purchased a home and were specifically told that the house was fully upgraded to copper plumbing and and an upgraded electrical panel. This is written in the listing and contract.

These items have not only turned out to be false, but within the 6-month period of ownership need to be replaced and it will cost close to $10,000 for both items. These are not covered by homeowner's insurance as the installation was illegal and faulty.

Is this a court case for the sellers or for the agent who misrepresented the property?

Thank you in advance for all advice.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Best answer

    I agree with my colleagues that you have a cause of action against the seller. I also handled a matter a few years back very similar and since the sellers had no money, we also pursued the agent. My clients recovered more than $80,000 from the real estate company (and their carrier did indeed pay). There is a theory in the law that the broker/agent is not required to make disclosures about the existence of things on real property, but when they open their mouth, they must only speak truthfully. Best of luck!

  2. Yes, this may be a failure to disclose, but a full review of all the documents involved in the purchase would have to be reviewed to properly advise you. Additionally, even if you have a case, you will probably have to go to arbitration or mediation, rather than filing suit.

    I am a real estate broker as well as an attorney.

  3. This looks like it probably is a case against the sellers and, if you are able to establish the agent knew or should have know about the false disclosure, a case against the agent. You really should consult with an experienced R.E. lawyer as this is an area of the law where a do-it-yourself approach should not be attempted. There are many great R.E. lawyers here on Avvo and most of them should give you a free consultation. Good Luck.

    *Scott G. Nathan has been licensed to practice law in California since 1983. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal advice for any particular case or matter. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with Scott G. Nathan or my law firm. For specific advice about your particular situation, you should consult with an attorney immediately.

  4. I agree with my colleagues. You should retain a real estate lawyer to advise you.

    There is, however, one point that puzzles me: Did you not have the house inspected before the purchase and sale closed?

    This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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