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

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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. To 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

Answers:

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

Answered 4 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.


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