As the seller, what obligation do I have after closing?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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As the seller, what obligation do I have after closing?

I sold a house. The buyer had an inspection which revealed a drain leak in the

bathtub. I had the leak repaired and the buyer closed. After closing, the tub

began to leak again and it was discovered that it was not set properly. Now the buyer is threatening to sue me for $2,000. What is my exposure?

Asked on June 1, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A seller is only liable if:
1) He/she gave the buyer some sort of warranty or guaranty (in case, he or she is held to its terms); or
2) The seller knew that problem existed or had not been solved, but despite knowing that problem persisted, failed to disclose it (fraud).
If you reasonably believed the drain had been fixed properly, you would not be liable for the cost unless you had warranted or guaranteed it.
That said, since courts do not "pre-screen" lawsuits to see how strong they are,  the buyer could file a lawsuit and force you to spend time (and money--either directly, in hiring a lawyer; or indirectly, in time off from work) responding to it. It could be worth while to try to settle the matter with some mutually agreeable amount so as to not have to deal with litigation. If you can settle, get the settlement in writing and signed before passing over any money.

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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