If we purchased a home that claimed to have real wood floors but have since discovered it is not wood but vinyl, do we have any recourse?

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If we purchased a home that claimed to have real wood floors but have since discovered it is not wood but vinyl, do we have any recourse?

The realtor admits she copied the information from the company that marketed the property before the current seller. The seller lived in the property for 4 years. We discovered it was not wood after a water leak caused a claims process. The “wood” floor covers about 1000 sq ft of the 1300 sq ft condominium which we purchased for $183k for our son who is a student.

Asked on May 4, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the realtor for negligence, the company that marketed the property for negligence, and you can sue the seller for fraud.

Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care in this case that a reasonable realtor / reasonable company marketing the property would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

Fraud is the intentional misrepresentation of a material fact made with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent to induce your reliance upon which you justifiably relied to your detriment.  This means you were induced to buy the condo because the floors were wood, and would not have purchased the condo had you known the floors were vinyl.  You justifiably relied to your detriment by purchasing the condo which claimed to have wood floors instead of vinyl.

You would file only one lawsuit with separate causes of action (claims) for negligence and fraud.

Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) for negligence would be the cost of repairs from the water leak.

Your damages for fraud would be either the benefit of the bargain or your out of pocket loss.

Benefit of the bargain means a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the real and represented value of the property purchased regardless of the fact that the actual loss suffered might have been less.

Out of pocket means that for fraudulent misrepresentation you can recover the difference between the price paid and the actual value of the property.


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