Can a buyer recoup money from a seller, if the seller lied or misled on seller disclosure?

The buyer bought home and seller disclosure stated there wasn’t much of a water problem only for the buyer get basement flooded with inches of water during heavy rain. The home has in ground pool and the seller represented pool only new liner which the seller bought liner. The buyer called pool expert to find out the cost of replacing liner. An expert told the buyer pool most likely as total loss and to just fill it in with dirt. There are many other expenses incurred by the buyer like replacing water filtration system, flues in 2 chimneys needed replacement, as well as insert for fireplace. The well pump needs to be replaced at a cost of $2000.

Asked on April 24, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The buyer can sue the seller for fraud.  Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation or nondisclosure of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce reliance upon which the buyer justifiably relied to his/her detriment.
In other words, buyer would not have purchased the house had buyer known of the facts you  mentioned in your question.
In a lawsuit for fraud against the seller, the buyer's damages (monetary compensation the buyer is seeking in the lawsuit) would be either benefit of the bargain or out of pocket loss.
Benefit of the bargain means a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property purchased regardless of the fact that the actual loss suffered might have been less.
Out of pocket determination of damages for fraudulent misrepresentation permits recovery of the difference between the price paid and actual value of the property acquired.


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