There are many things that can hamper a home deal. The house may not have the marble countertop you have been looking for or the backyard doesn’t have a fence to offer more privacy. Yet these are minor issues that a motivated homeowner may deal with to get the house as they can always add in those items later. However, there are other issues that are more serious. The house may have a major foundation issue or basement flooding. It is also possible that the house may have caught fire and suffered significant damage.
For these issues, a buyer wants to know everything about the problem that could impact their finances. A buyer who pays a large amount to purchase the house only to discover they may have to pay thousands more to make repairs will feel like they were cheated and possibly deceived in the deal. Also, many buyers simply may not have enough left in their finances to perform the repairs themselves. They could find themselves barely making home payments as their house further deteriorates.
In addition, they may end up paying for the repairs yet will begin missing the mortgage payments to the point where they lose their house to foreclosure. Some new homeowners find that the house isn’t habitable anymore as they must resell it at a lower price than what they originally paid.
Property Condition Misrepresentation
During the sale of a property, the seller will be presented with a property disclosure statement (PDS). This form is used to reveal any pertinent information regarding the condition of the property. The seller should state any defects that were not repaired so that the buyer is fully aware of the real condition of the house. They should also present any documentation regarding repairs they have made to address the issue. There are also disclosure statements that cover condominiums (Strata Property Disclosure Statement) and rural land (Rural Property Disclosure Statement). However, revealing certain defects can hamper the sale, as well as the price, of the property. Subsequently, they may omit known defects from the disclosure agreement. This omission means that the seller misrepresented the condition of the property to buyers in a fraudulent manner. Other fraudulent ways to misrepresent the condition of the property is to mislead the buyer about property lines, easements, and work that was performed to the property without the legal permit.
In addition to fraudulent misrepresentation, there is also negligent misrepresentation and innocent misrepresentation. Negligent misrepresentation means that the seller failed to disclose the defects because of ignorance. Innocent misrepresentation occurs when there was an error or mistake in telling the buyer about an issue without intending any harm.
Suing a Seller for Misrepresentation
If you recently bought a home only to discover serious issues that you believe the seller knew about but failed to mention in the disclosure agreement, you may be able to bring a case against the seller. Contact the law professionals at McLarty Wolf. We are litigation lawyers who can review your case and provide the appropriate legal representation.