can i back out of a contract due to buyer not disclosing rezoning


Quick question. I had a gentleman who buys land offer to purchase some land I
own. I signed the contract on Saturday and just today, I learned they are
rezoning the parcel of land I own for an 80 million dollar commercial project.
I signed a contract with a closing date. Last night the land developer/land
purchaser/investor..whatever he calls himself, sent me an email stating his
investors want to close quickly and want to move my closing date of Oct 9th to
Sept 5?

My question is, due to this person not disclosing they would be rezoning, would
this be considered active concealment, and can I withdraw from this contract?

Thank you.

Asked on August 31, 2017 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not grounds to get out of the contract:
1) A buyer has no legal obligation to disclose what he may or may not do with the land, or changes in zoning (or mass transit projects, office or retail construction, etc.) which may increase the value. The seller has certain disclosure obligations; the buyer does not.
2) Also, this was likely was information you could have determined yourself: any person living in town could go to zoning board or town council meetings, contact the zoning or building office, etc. to find out what is happening. Because it is public information not under his control, even if he had been the seller and you the buyer, and the zoning had been adverse to you, there still would be no liability: liabiltiy can only attach for non-disclosure of information not reasonably available to the other side.
However, you don't need to move the closing date up--you can stick to the date in the contract. If it matters enough to the buyer, he can always offer you a premium to accelerate the date.

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