What recourse do I have after the house closing?

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What recourse do I have after the house closing?

The real estate listing boasted tons of
granite counters. After closing on the
house, it was discovered that the
counters are not granite at all.
Instead, the counters are a painted
faux granite.
This was one of the highlighted
features of the house in the real
estate listing and one reasons we
bought the house at its selling price.
Is the previous owner responsible for
the mistake in the listing? How could
we attempt to be compensated? Would it
be worth it to hire a lawyer?

Asked on August 15, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The seller has very likely committed fraud, since he very likely knew or reasonably should have known that the counters were not granite: fraud is knowingly lying about a material, or important thing, to get the other party to do something, when it was reasonable for the other party to rely on that lie or misrepresentation. Fraud provides a basis for a lawsuit; you could potentially sue to recover the difference in value between the painted faux and real granite countertops. Whether it is worth hiring a lawyer depends on how much money that might be; a good rule of thumb is that if the amount equals or exceeds the limit for small claims court, hire a lawyer; if under that limit, it may make sense to sue in small claims on a "pro se" (as your own attorney) basis.


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