Am I still liable for issues after the sale of an investment property?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Am I still liable for issues after the sale of an investment property?

The buyer of our home a flip and they had a home inspector inspect the home after going under contract. The waterline to the new dishwasher had come disconnected during the inspection and sprayed water on engineered hardwood floors. It was cleaned up and dried out immediately as best we all could. The inspector advised buyer in his report to have dishwasher checked out and said he saw no concerns with floors. We, the sellers, reconnected the dishwasher to ensure it wouldn’t happen again to protect what still our property because the buyer could back out of the contract for any or no reason and closing was still 5 weeks away. We informed the buyers we reconnected it. We periodically monitored the dishwasher for those 5 weeks and saw no leaks. The buyers closed as scheduled without ever re-inspecting the dishwasher but did do a final walk-through with their agent

where the agent texted the house looks great. About 6 weeks later, the buyer started noticing issues with the floors starting to curl. Then, 5 weeks after that, they sent us pictures of a large area in front of the dishwasher that is now badly damaged. That same day they stated that there was still an on-going leak with the dishwasher connection which they had fixed that day and they were now going to sue us for damages to the floors. Are we responsible for the damages caused from either the initial disconnection or the supposed ongoing leak? The standard offer to purchase contract in our state clearly states,

Asked on November 1, 2018 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You would only be liable (notwithstanding the terms of the contract) for issues of which you were aware but which were not reasonably visible or detectable to the buyer ("latent" issues, as they are called) and which you failed to disclose. Based on what you write, that was not this case. You apparently told the buyers (and/or the buyers were otherwise aware of) the disconnection and your reconnection of the hose, so there was disclosure; and you were not aware of any continuing problem, so you did not fail to disclose a known issue. Based on what you write, you do not appear to be liable.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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