Rights of buyer after closing
A buyer attempts a suit against a seller after closing stating that structural problems with the home were not in the "seller's disclosure" document. These items were addressed in the buyers "inspection report." The buyer signed a counter proposal from the seller which clearly stated these items would not be fixed or paid for, and ownership was transfered at closing. The suit states that due these item not being included in the disclosure, the seller should be responsible for the repair. Does the buyer have a case?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: Rights of buyer after closing
As you are aware, a buyer bears the burden of due diligence in examining and inspecting everything from the structural integrity of the home to ensuring that clear and clean title exists. Certainly a seller can be liable for failure to disclose pertinent information such as faulty electrical wiring, for example, of which the seller has actual knowledge. This would be particularly true if a seller intentionally made a false representation of material fact. From your synopsis, however, it sounds as though buyer had not only constructive but actual knowledge of the requisite repairs and defects and even contracted for the purchase in light of clear covenants disclosing the items and disclaiming seller responsibility for their repair. In such a case, it would appear not only does buyer not have a claim, but buyers claim is groundless, frivolous, and exposes buyer to liability for all costs, expenses and attorneys fees incurred by seller in the defense of this action.
Good luck with your matter, and feel free to call us if we can be of any assistance.
Very truly, Peter Thomas
Petersen, Thomas & Slade, PLLC