Can I go after a real estate agent for a false advertisement?

I bought a foreclosed home and the listing was for a home on large corner lot I found out when I received this years tax bill the second lot is not mine which is on the corner. Also the listing was listed for a double lot which it is not. The land is going into foreclosure for back taxes since the current owner has not paid the taxes. My questions would be can I sue for false advertisement and how can I get the property that I thought I already paid for.

Asked on March 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Two very different issues:

1) Can you sue the realtor, if she made material misprepresentations (e.g. what lot(s) you were buying? Yes, you can. You should contact an attorney, probably a real estate attorney, about bringing an action given that you paid for more than you received, due to a misrepresentation. Note that you might also have a cause of action against the owner (if it was foreclosed, presumably a lender or the town) if they contributed to the misrepresentation.

2) Can you get the other lot/property? IF is owned by the same entity from whom you bought the rest of the property, possibly...you may be able to bring a legal action for specific performance of the contract--that is, to force them to honor the contract for selling all the property, which contract they were a party to.

However, if it is not owned by the same person or entity from whom you bought the other land--even if it's owned by someone who formerly owned the other land--you can't make that person conveny the land to you. You contract with person or entity A to buy land does not bind or obligate person or entity B, who was not a party to the contract. You can't make someone sell or convey land to you unless that person him- or herself agreed to the sale or conveyance.

This where suing the realtor or owner of the land you bought for damages comes in--that's how you seek compensation.


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