The house I purchased has a broken foundation without being told by the seller, and the lawyer never told us we should get an inspection before purchase what can I do about this?
Fix the broken foundation, and then, if it's worth it, consider legal action to try to recover the repair cost.
Firstly, it's common knowledge you should get a home inspection before you purchase a home. Secondly, you probably have not purchased a house under false pretenses; you may believe, under false pretenses, someone sold a house to you, but that is unlikely, too. I don't know how things go in Anderson, South Carolina, but here, in Tennessee, we have a Residential Property Disclosure Act. South Carolina probably has a similar law.
T. C. A. § 66-5-206. Real estate licensees; duties; penalties.
"A real estate licensee representing an owner of residential real property as the listing broker has a duty to inform each such owner represented by that licensee of the owner's rights and obligations under this part. A real estate licensee representing a purchaser of residential real property or, if the purchaser is not represented by a licensee, the real estate licensee representing an owner of residential real estate and dealing with the purchaser has a duty to inform each such purchaser of the purchaser's rights and obligations under this part. If a real estate licensee performs those duties, the licensee shall have no further duties to the parties to a residential real estate transaction under this part, and shall not be liable to any party to a residential real estate transaction for a violation of this part or for any failure to disclose any information regarding any real property subject to this part. However, a cause of action for damages or equitable remedies may be brought against a real estate licensee for intentionally misrepresenting or defrauding a purchaser. A real estate licensee will further be subject to a cause of action for damages or equitable relief for failing to disclose adverse facts of which the licensee has actual knowledge or notice. 'Adverse facts' means conditions or occurrences generally recognized by competent licensees that significantly reduce the structural integrity of improvements to real property, or present a significant health risk to occupants of the property."
You probably do not have a claim against the seller's real estate agent for damages. Whether or not you have a claim against the seller (or their agent) depends, at least in part, on whether the "broken foundation" "significantly reduce[s] the structural integrity of improvements to [the] real property." In other words, if your house's structural integrity is not significantly reduced by the damage to your foundation, the seller was probably not under any obligation to disclose the damage to you.
You should have had a home inspection before you bought the house. Buying a house without a home inspection is a stupid thing to do. You should correct this major blunder, now; and get a home inspection. The inspector can tell you whether or not the structural integrity of the house is significantly reduced by any damage to the foundation. Once you know that, you'll have a better idea of whether or not you are likely to have any financial damages for the non-disclosure.
Then, you need to go hire a lawyer, tell them what the home inspector told you, and ask them whether they think you should proceed with legal action against the seller and / or the seller's agent. Also remember, when you hire a lawyer, you get what you pay for. Good luck, and get a home inspection, first, the next time you buy a house!
Another issue aside from what's already been mentioned is whether or not the contract had an inspection contingency. Most residential real estate contracts have one, in which case you had your chance at an inspection within a certain timeframe after signing/acceptance of the contract, which would have revealed the problem, and you could have walked away and been entitled to a refund of your earnest money. If an inspection would not have revealed it (unlikely), and you can prove that the seller knew or should have known, then you might have reasonable grounds for a suit against the seller. If there was no inspection contingency, then you bought as-is, and you may be out of luck.
As for pointing the finger at your attorney, I'm guessing that his or her representation was limited to the closing, well after the contract had been signed and the contingencies were waived, either expressly or by inaction, or fulfilled. In the ten years that I worked in real estate law, both prior to becoming an attorney and later as an attorney, the only times I dealt with inspections were when buyers were paying us for representation from the pre-contract stage to closing. Most people don't hire real estate attorneys from the pre-contract stage because it's expensive, and the attorney is brought in to prepare the closing, a representation that, generally speaking, does not include matters like making sure inspections are done in a timely manner. It is also considered common knowledge that buyers get inspections, so it's rarely mentioned. Even if the attorney had mentioned it, if the contract didn't allow you an out based on an inspection at that time, either because there was no contingency or because the time period for an inspection had lapsed, the seller possibly could have demanded specific performance - meaning you'd be court-ordered to go through with the purchase.
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