Do I have legitimate case and chance for winning?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Do I have legitimate case and chance for winning?

I recently closed on a home purchase real estate in which there was improper and amateur electrical work done in the basement, which were found by our home inspector and brought to sellers attention. The sellers agree to fix it as part of the inspection findings and claimed to have addressed it, providing work receipts, etc. However, after closing, I had a electrician come in to do other work and had him also reviewed the work but found that most of it was not completed as sellers claimed. Do I have enough here for a case for small claims court and do I have a legitimate chance to win this case in court?

Asked on March 30, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you had the agreement in writing, you could sue for breach of contract for their failure to honor it. If the agreement was only oral, however, then you cannot: the terms of the written contract of sale will overrule any oral agreements, so that if the contract of sale did not include this agreement, it will be a void agreement and unenforceable. 
The above said, you may be able to sue based on fraud in any event: on the theory that the seller intentionally misrepresented, or lied about, what they would do to induce, or cause, you to go through with the transaction. This provides an alternate basis for suing.
If you either documentary proof of the agreement and/or are credible witnesses as to the promises made, and have an electrician whom you can call to testify about the wiring defects (unless you are yourselves electricians, you cannot testify as to the flaws since you lack the resquisite education, training, and/or experience; you need an electrician to testify in regards to the electical problems), you would seem to have a reasonable chance to prevail.

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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