Can I sue a buyer or real estate agent for a non-disclosure of a item on the sales contract of a house?

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Can I sue a buyer or real estate agent for a non-disclosure of a item on the sales contract of a house?

Asked on September 2, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the buyer knowingly misrepresented i.e. intentionally lied about, including by omission some condition which 1 was material or important and 2 which was latent or hidden i.e. not something which was or would reasonably have been obvious to you or your home inspector, then they may have committed fraud and you may have grounds to sue them for the cost to repair or remediate  the condition. It is critical that they must have known of the problem--they are not expected to disclose things of which they are unaware--and also that you and/or your inspector could not see the problem--since you are not legally entitled to rely on their statement if you could, by the evidence of your own senses, see that the statement was incorrect. For example if they knew about mold behind the wallboards or sewage pipe blocked up with roots, you could probably sue over that but if the problem was, say, that the front porch was rotted and the rot was visible, you could not sue, because in choosing to buy when you could see the problem, you waive or give up your right to take legal action over it.


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