Buyer backs out of contract because of false information from HVAC company

I’m selling a home that was under contract. The buyers backed out based on
information from an HVAC contractor 1 telling the buyers there is an HVAC leak
never proved or tested for, that the coil was discontinued and that the entire unit
needed to be replaced. I had another HVAC company 2 prove there was no leak,
the coil is not discontinued and that the unit is functioning normally. HVAC
company d documented this in a letter that was provided to the buyers. But they
backed out due to believing the HVAC company 1. Do I have recourse against the
that HVAC company that provided false information?

Asked on June 17, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you believe--as you evidently do--that they made false factual statements or assertions that damaged you economically, you could sue them for defamation (for making false negative factual statements to other persons which damaged your "reputation," so to speak), for tortious interference with economic advantage (causing a buyer to back out of a contract through improper means--the false factual statements), and/or professional negligence (basically professional incompetence or carelessness). You could potentially recover, if a court found for you, the additional costs they cause you incur: e.g. if you end up carrying the home for an extra 5 months before selling it, for 5 months of the carrying costs (mortgage, taxes, utilities, insurance, etc.). First see how long it takes to re-sell the home--that will give you an idea of how much money is at stake, and if the time, cost, and effort of a lawsuit is worthwhile. Then you can decide whether or not to take legal action, remembering that no lawsuit is *ever* certain and you can pay for, and spend the time on, a suit and not win.


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