Purchasing a home, or any property for that matter, is an exciting time. However, it’s a large purchase to make. Therefore, buyers who discover that they’ve been deceived may need to seek legal counsel to remedy the issue. In many cases, buyers will need to spend even more money to make repairs. Sometimes they’ll realize that they can no longer keep the property, either because of insufficient funds or because the issues are too severe. As a result, the buyer is forced to sell the property at a lower price than they had paid.
If you would like to find out more about the various types of misrepresentation that a seller may take part in and what your options are if you ever find yourself victim to it, keep reading below.
Types of Misrepresentation
There are 3 main types of misrepresentation that a seller’s actions generally fall under. Note that the degree of evidence needed to make a claim for each type varies.
While listing their property, sellers need to provide a property disclosure statement (PDS). This form should include any relevant information regarding the property including defects and proof of previous repairs. The point of a PDS is so that the buyer is fully aware of the property’s condition prior to closing the deal. However, some sellers are reluctant to reveal some pertinent information in fear of losing property value or even preventing a sale. How this omittance of information is done determines the type of misrepresentation.
When a seller intentionally omits information. For example, in order to sell at a higher price, the seller may claim that the condition of the property is better than it actually is. In addition, perhaps the seller will fail to disclose work done to the property without a legal permit.
When a seller breaches the duty of care owed to the buyer by providing misleading or inaccurate information.
When a seller believed their information to be true when it in fact was false or contained errors.
What Can You Do?
In short, you can sue. However, this is where things get a little tricky which is why seeking consultation from an experienced lawyer is important. Having a knowledgeable lawyer will help you navigate this difficult process more efficiently and with greater ease. A lawyer can identify the type of misrepresentation that has occurred. Thus, they can advise you on what kind of evidence and documentation you need to provide in order to present a strong case.
At Sodagar & Company, we have assisted clients in disputes relating to misrepresentations in the agreement of purchase and sale that ranges from defects to the profitability of a particular project.