Is the sellers realtor at fault for failing to disclose severe water damage as well as other damages?
3 attorney answers
Sellers and real estate agents have a duty to disclose to the buyer any material defect (meaning a non-cosmetic problem which costs money to fix) that is not open an obvious, and is known to the seller or the agent. This disclosure may be in the contract, in some other written document, or made orally. The difficulty in cases like this is that you must prove the seller or agent actually knew of the defect. You should take all of your documentation to an experienced real estate lawyer in your area. Your lawyer can advise you on your likelihood of success in litigation.
Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Actual legal advice can only be provided after completing a comprehensive consultation in which all of the relevant facts are discussed and reviewed.
Perhaps, but no way to tell here on line. If the "lies" in the ad were not specifically included in your CONTRACT, there's not much you can do there - especially if you mean the MLS sheets (i.e., that specifically say they cannot be relied on for any reason); and the water damage at the front door doe not sound like it has the sort of "material impact on value" that triggers the duty to disclose. You might have a small claims action for the "false claims" the seller and realtor made (assuming you can prove them up in court). It might be difficult establishing your "reliance" as well, if the washer, for example was "old and rusted" - they will most certainly argue that you and your INSPECTOR should/would have noticed that. In any event, if you wish to pursue such a claim, just contact the real estate lawyer who represented you in drafting/reviewing your contract; he or she is in the best position to advise you, and if necessary and appropriate, can help you find a litgator to look into this. Hope this helps. gsg
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It appears that your damages are substantial. Schedule a consultation with a real estate/litigation attorney in your area to discuss the seller's and realtor's potential liability. The real estate contract will largely determine the route you take which is likely to begin with mediation of the dispute.