In a purchase of real proeprty, what are the potential damages that can be claimed from a non-disclosure case?

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In a purchase of real proeprty, what are the potential damages that can be claimed from a non-disclosure case?

I relocated to a different state and purchased a home in April. During the inspections, the inspector and I found that there was damage to the home’s exterior siding. When I asked the seller and the seller’s agent (who was present) what happened, the seller claimed, “wind damage”. After closing I found out from a neighbor that the house was run into at high speed by a vehicle. I don’t know if there are any structural issues, but am more concerned that it will effect the resale of the home since it was well known in the area and the drunk driver was teenage. How do I figure damages?

Asked on May 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could sue the seller for fraud.  Fraud is the misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity with the intent to induce your reliance on which you justifiably relied to your detriment.  Fraud also applies in nondisclosure cases by the seller in which the buyer could not have reasonably discovered the material fact or facts that were not disclosed.

Your case for fraud would appear to fall within the intentional misrepresentation category since the seller and seller's agent lied about the cause of the damage to the house.

Monetary damages for fraud would be either benefit-of-the- bargain or out-of-pocket loss.

Benefit-of-the-bargain means that a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and the represented value of the property purchased  (the difference between what you paid and what you should have paid had you known about the damage caused by the auto) regardless of the fact that the actual loss may have been less.

Out-of-pocket loss for fraudulent misrepresentation means recovery of the difference between the price paid and the actual value of the property acquired.


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