House seller and property inspector advertised particular building material, but suddenly when I’m about to close seller admits it’s different

UPDATED: Jun 5, 2009

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House seller and property inspector advertised particular building material, but suddenly when I’m about to close seller admits it’s different

Listing agent originally stated part of the house was built with a particular material. Two property inspections verify the same material in their reports. Then right as I’m about to close (already paid down payment), seller tells me the material is actually fake material that looks like the real thing (hard to spot upon casual observation but now that I know, I can see it’s quite obviously fake). This seems like a bait-and-switch – do I have any recourse against the seller for false representation? Or against the property inspectors for an incorrect report?

Asked on June 5, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

If the specific type of building material was listed in your purchase contract then yes, you have rights.  Not closing for one thing if this is deemed to be a major breach or, at your option, at least getting an adjustment in the sales price.  If it was not a condition of the purchase and provided for in the contract you may still have rights.  As to the building inspector, you may also have a cause of action there as well.  Of course you would have to prove damages to some degree.  At the very least you could try and get a refund of the cost of the report.

What you need to do is to consult with an attorney in your area and she what they advise as to your next best step.

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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