Can I go after a real estate agent for a false advertisement?

UPDATED: Mar 29, 2011

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Can I go after a real estate agent for a false advertisement?

I bought a foreclosed home and the listing was for a home on large corner lot I found out when I received this years tax bill the second lot is not mine which is on the corner. Also the listing was listed for a double lot which it is not. The land is going into foreclosure for back taxes since the current owner has not paid the taxes. My questions would be can I sue for false advertisement and how can I get the property that I thought I already paid for.

Asked on March 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Two very different issues:

1) Can you sue the realtor, if she made material misprepresentations (e.g. what lot(s) you were buying? Yes, you can. You should contact an attorney, probably a real estate attorney, about bringing an action given that you paid for more than you received, due to a misrepresentation. Note that you might also have a cause of action against the owner (if it was foreclosed, presumably a lender or the town) if they contributed to the misrepresentation.

2) Can you get the other lot/property? IF is owned by the same entity from whom you bought the rest of the property, may be able to bring a legal action for specific performance of the contract--that is, to force them to honor the contract for selling all the property, which contract they were a party to.

However, if it is not owned by the same person or entity from whom you bought the other land--even if it's owned by someone who formerly owned the other land--you can't make that person conveny the land to you. You contract with person or entity A to buy land does not bind or obligate person or entity B, who was not a party to the contract. You can't make someone sell or convey land to you unless that person him- or herself agreed to the sale or conveyance.

This where suing the realtor or owner of the land you bought for damages comes in--that's how you seek compensation.

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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