what remedy is there for a buyer when seller knowingly falsifies information in the seller’s disclosure statement of the purchase contract?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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what remedy is there for a buyer when seller knowingly falsifies information in the seller’s disclosure statement of the purchase contract?

Seller denied any knowledge of water damage. Two bathroom vanities have rotted base floors with visible mold. These base floors were covered with protective shelving plastic, and inspector did not look below shelving plastic. Second, seller reported in disclosure statement that all necessary permits were pulled and closed. During listing period, seller had new granite countertops installed in kitchen and did not pull permits, so the kitchen reconstruction does not meet code for electrical outlets. We the buyers are needing to replace both bathroom vanities and kitchen granite. Seller’s agent and buyer’s agent are coworkers. Buyer’s agent knew but did not disclose to buyers that seller’s agent personally was fixing plumbing problems identified in home inspection.

Asked on July 25, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Florida


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the seller and buyer's agent for fraud.
Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.
In other words, buyer would not have purchased the property had buyer known the true facts.
Fraud is also applicable in cases of nondisclosure of a material fact where buyer could not have reasonably discovered the item prior to purchase.
Damages (monetary compensation in a lawsuit for fraud) would be either benefit of the bargain or out of pocket loss.
Benefit of the bargain is the difference between the actual value of the property and the value as represented.
Out of pocket loss is the difference between the value of what the buyer paid and the market value of what was received.
The lawsuit should also include a cause of action (claim) for negligence against the home inspector.
Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable home inspector would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm). Damages would be the costs incurred as a result of inspector's negligence.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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