What can I do if I unintentionally misrepresented a fact in the sale of my home?

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What can I do if I unintentionally misrepresented a fact in the sale of my home?

I bought my home 8 years ago. The real estate listing said it had city sewer. I then sold it last week (with the same info about sewer) and now the buyer has been told by county sanitary engineering that it has a sanitary system – it is not hooked into city sewer. The county has no record of it being tied in. I discovered my water/sanitary bills never included sewer as a line item expense but I never gave it a thought; I never had any problems. The sale has been completed and the money transferred (about 10 days ago). What liability do I have to my buyer? What recourse do I have with bank/agent who sold it to me?

Asked on July 7, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

For the misrepresentation, which is about something where you most likely should have known the right answer (as you indicate, the fact that wwere charges were not on your bills was evidence you did not have a sewer hook-up), you are potentially liable to your buyer for the cost to install a sewer hook-up, if such is possible, or for the difference in price between the value of your house without sewer and the actual sale price, if the fair market value without sewer would be lower.

You probably do not have recourse against the bank/agent who sold it to you because of the passage of time: any cause of action against them would most likely be based on fraud, but the statute of limitations, or time within which to bring a lawsuit, for fraud is only 4 years.


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