Can a Seller’s Agent be sued for withholding information?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a Seller’s Agent be sued for withholding information?

I’ve been in the process of buying a home. There were a few repairs needed for FHA, and it took the seller over a month and two repeat inspections to finally get them done. We missed our original projected close date because of this, and now as the closing process was just about to begin, something else has come up. The current owner does not have a clear title and is not authorized to sell the home now. The previous owner was behind on taxes and the federal government took the house for the taxes. They sold the house as a sheriff or tax sale, the purchaser renovated it and listed it for sale earlier this year. My lender has found from the title agency that there are three tax liens against the house, and the previous owner’s name is still on the title. New Link Destination
top it off, the seller’s agent has admitted to knowing all of this from day one and never disclosed any of this information to my agent. It is unknown at this time whether the title can even be cleared within a timely manner, and if I have to walk away from the deal, I’ll have lost between 700-800 for the inspection and the appraisal. Can the seller’s agent be held responsible for withholding this information and possibly be sued for costs incurred by me through this process?

Asked on June 11, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the seller and the seller's agent for fraud.
Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment. In other words, you wouldn't have paid had you known the true facts regarding the title to the property.

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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