I found a house and signed a purchase agreement and paid for certain pre-closing expenses but when the title was pulled it was discovered that the person selling the home was not the owner?

I paid for a home inspection and an appraisal, I believe the seller agent was aware of this. I was unable to purchase the house because of this and lost the money I paid for the appraisal and home inspection. I contacted the seller agent broker and he stated by telephone that he would reimburse me, I never heard from him. I sent him an email explaining what we had discussed and the reply back was “I will discuss with the agent”. Still nothing, what legal actions can I take to get the money back I invested.

Asked on July 17, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The legal action to take is to sue: you would sue the person who had claimed to have been the seller for his deliberate deceptive act (e.g. fraud) and you would sue the seller's agent for (in the alternative; you are allowed to bring or present alternate theories of liability) fraud (knowingly helping the "seller" to lie) and negligence (being unreasonably careless in terms of ascertaining right to sell, and so causing your loss). A lawsuit is the only way to get your money back, and you would sue the two parties who were, or at least may have been, at fault in causing your loss.

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