Can I sue selling broker for misrepresentation?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I sue selling broker for misrepresentation?

I purchased a house 8 years ago in MA. Listing stated it came with 2 car off street tandem parking space.a driveway. I just put the house on the market to sell and found out the driveway is actually a right of way so the house has no parking area. I’ve used th driveway for the past 8 years and never had an issue with it. My deed shows the right of way but the wording in it goes back to 1943 found online when the original property owner subdivided his property leaving a right of way for his family to access parts of the property. How can I find out when the state came into ownership if the land? it does not appear in the list of state owned properties I found online. Can I sue the broker that sold me the house for misrepresentation an for how much? It will be very difficult to sell a house with no parkin space.

Asked on February 6, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) The broker is not liable for a misrepresentation like this, since the broker does not have a duty to research or verify the information--they can rely on whatever the seller tells them.
2) The seller could be liable if you can show that they committed fraud: that is, they knowingly or intentionally mispresented the facts to you. That requires that they knew of the true state of affairs, or at least logically must have known (any reasonable owner in their situation would know). If the did not know, they would not be liable, since without knowledge of the true facts, they could not misrepresent--it is no misrepresentation to in good faith say what you reasonably believe.
3) However, the statute of limitations, or time within which to start a lawsuit, for fraud in your state is only 3 years; if you bought the house 8 years ago, it may be too late to sue. That said, sometimes you can get the statutory period "tolled" or extended if you could not know of the fraud until later; if you want to pursue this, speak to an attorney IMMEDIATELY, before any more time passes, to see if under the circumstances of your unique case, you can still file a lawsuit.

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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