Real Estate Misrepresentation
By Daphne Reaume on December 18th, 2013 in
“We’re sometimes asked ‘What can I do if I bought a piece of real estate, a home or a building and the seller misrepresented or didn’t disclose defects in the property?’ I’m Kent Berk and I’m an attorney at the Scottsdale, Arizona law firm where we handle real estates, probates, trusts, and other types of disputes in Arizona.
In Arizona, fortunately, the buyer who purchases a property in Arizona does have options if the condition of the property is misrepresented or the seller doesn’t disclose defects. Typically the old saying “buyer beware, caveat emptor,” doesn’t apply in Arizona any longer, which means the seller is typically required to disclose to the buyer all material information about the property. Material information is typically defined broadly in Arizona to include any information that might affect the buyer decision to buy or the price that the buyer might be willing to pay for the property.
So what happens if the seller violates those duties and doesn’t disclose material information? There are several options depending on the circumstances. For example the buyer can quantify or determine the difference what they paid for the property and what the property was really worth with the defect or in circumstances the buyer can rescind the contract, basically cancel the contract give back the home or other property that they received and get back the purchase price, and in some cases other damages so as to put the parties who’s called in a status quo ante, as though the deal never happened.
Now other options that are available to a buyer if the seller breaches the duties of disclosure and of course there are other circumstances that can come into play, such as language of the contract, such as in a commercial real estate contract, if there’s an “as is” provision where the buyer bought the property as is with no warranties or disclosures from the seller that could have an effect. So it really depends on the particular circumstances of the case. Those are some examples that in the typical case of options that would be available to the buyer.
You should also be aware that there are certain things that a seller bitstocks you to believe it or not does not have to disclose. For example, absent other circumstances. Like an inquiry by the buyer, the seller does not have to disclose that the home was occupied by or is located in the vicinity of a sex offender, or that in the property, a murderer or a suicide occurred. But if the buyer makes an inquiry and the seller gives false information about, let’s say a murder, lies about it, then the buyer may have claims for that particular seller. It just some of the information that can come into play in a real estate misrepresentation dispute.
If you have any questions about a real estate dispute in Arizona, you just contact us through our website or feel free to give us a call. Thank you.” – Kent Berk