Can a buyer recoup money from a seller, if the seller lied or misled on seller disclosure?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a buyer recoup money from a seller, if the seller lied or misled on seller disclosure?

The buyer bought home and seller disclosure stated there wasn’t much of a water problem only for the buyer get basement flooded with inches of water during heavy rain. The home has in ground pool and the seller represented pool only new liner which the seller bought liner. The buyer called pool expert to find out the cost of replacing liner. An expert told the buyer pool most likely as total loss and to just fill it in with dirt. There are many other expenses incurred by the buyer like replacing water filtration system, flues in 2 chimneys needed replacement, as well as insert for fireplace. The well pump needs to be replaced at a cost of $2000.

Asked on April 24, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The buyer can sue the seller for fraud.  Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation or nondisclosure of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce reliance upon which the buyer justifiably relied to his/her detriment.
In other words, buyer would not have purchased the house had buyer known of the facts you  mentioned in your question.
In a lawsuit for fraud against the seller, the buyer's damages (monetary compensation the buyer is seeking in the lawsuit) would be either benefit of the bargain or out of pocket loss.
Benefit of the bargain means a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property purchased regardless of the fact that the actual loss suffered might have been less.
Out of pocket determination of damages for fraudulent misrepresentation permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and actual value of the property acquired.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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