I bought a home in November. Now that it is spring, I found the basement leaks. Because the home was in a trust, I was told by the realtor that the condition report was not required from the seller. After having the foundation checked by a local concrete contractor, he told me he had been here at least 50 times for basement water issues over the past several years, most recently being just prior to the home being listed. None of this was disclosed to me. Do I have a case to go back and expect any responsibility to fall on the family of the deceased owner?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Real estate purchases in WI are complex transactions which should never be attempted without an experienced real estate lawyer to assist you, since the customary documents contains thousands of words of small print, all of which counts. However, this is particularly true when one purchases from a fiduciary such as a trust or estate. Without knowing more, I have no idea what type of trust you are dealing with here, but if it is a normal grantor living trust, the trustee has no liability shield and may be personally liable for all claims. Nobody could answer your questions without reviewing all of the sale documents including the purchase contract (offer to purchase) string. The seller's liability depends upon what warranties and representations were made, if any, as well as the seller's knowledge of the property's history. Sometimes, fiduciary sales are "as is" without warranty or representation, since the fiduciary may have never occupied the property. Any lawyer would have explained these risks to you prior to your acceptance of the offer.
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