What to do if the buyers who purchased our home 2 months ago have sent us a letter that they intend to rescind the purchase of the home?

UPDATED: Dec 20, 2011

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What to do if the buyers who purchased our home 2 months ago have sent us a letter that they intend to rescind the purchase of the home?

They sent us a letter via their lawyer that they want to rescind their purchase due to mold found in the home. They said we didn’t disclose the mold but that’s because we didn’t know there was any. Their inspection did not show up any mold. Can they possibly win this case and make us take our house back? We signed a seller’s disclosure stating we had had a some leaks and problems with flashings, gutters and downspouts, etc which lead us to have to replace an inside wall that had water damage. There was no mold at that time.

Asked on December 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The issue is what can they reasonably prove. Mold--assuming it is the sort of mold which could have health impacts and which is difficult to erradicate (i.e. not one small patch of discoloration)--is a material issue which, if the seller intentionally or knowingly failed to disclose, could provide a basis for rescinding the contract or seeking significant monetary compensation (i.e. the cost of mold remediation and replacing affected walls, beams, etc.).

So the issue becauses whether they could show that you either knew or reasonably had to know (since willful blindness is not a defense) of the existence of a mold condition.So if, for example, it could be shown that the mold would have taken months to develop to this stage, that could provide evidence that you should have known of it.

Since litigation is expensive, even if you win, and is never certain, you may wish to consider settling by paying some amount towards remediation. Before doing anything though, retain an attorney--given what is potentially at stake, you want a lawyer's advice and assistance.

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