Is my realtor negligent or has any responsibility to me financially for a mistake made in the listing details?

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Is my realtor negligent or has any responsibility to me financially for a mistake made in the listing details?

I am an out of town buyer and made the mistake of buying a property sight unseen. Now that it is all closed I have found out it has 1 less bedroom than the listing advertised. The property itself was priced according to the listing and the extra bedroom. Now I have a property which I have grossly over paid for and it won’t make anywhere near the returns that I had bargained for. The sellers agent worked in the same office as my realtor and I guess I just figured that they knew what they were doing – I do realize that buying sight unseen was a mistake but surely both my realtor and the sellers.

Asked on July 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should consult with an attorney--you may have grounds to either seek compensation or possibly rescind the purchase entirely, and to seek recourse against either the realtor, or the seller, or both.

Some general principals: a contract represents and agreement, or a meeting of the minds. If there is a significant error in the contract, so that it does *not* express what both parties believed, then that may provide grounds to either rescind the contract (cancel it, give back property, get back money) or to seek some damages or compensation (e.g. the difference in value between was sought and what was actually received). There are limitations and caveats--for example, it must be the case that in the way the transaction was structured, you did not have the opportunty to learn of the mistake before executing the contract--but still, it is possible you could seek compensation or rescission on the grounds of mistake.

Second, if there were knowing misrepresentations, or lies, made to you to get you to purchase the property, that may be fraud. As fraud, it, too, may give rise to rescission; to compensation for losses or costs; and sometimes for additional compensation, too.

From what you write, it would be worthwhile consulting with an attorney to explore your case and, if appropriate, take action. Good luck.


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