As the seller, what obligation do I have after closing?

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As the seller, what obligation do I have after closing?

I sold a house. The buyer had an inspection which revealed a drain leak in the

bathtub. I had the leak repaired and the buyer closed. After closing, the tub

began to leak again and it was discovered that it was not set properly. Now the buyer is threatening to sue me for $2,000. What is my exposure?

Asked on June 1, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A seller is only liable if:
1) He/she gave the buyer some sort of warranty or guaranty (in case, he or she is held to its terms); or
2) The seller knew that problem existed or had not been solved, but despite knowing that problem persisted, failed to disclose it (fraud).
If you reasonably believed the drain had been fixed properly, you would not be liable for the cost unless you had warranted or guaranteed it.
That said, since courts do not "pre-screen" lawsuits to see how strong they are,  the buyer could file a lawsuit and force you to spend time (and money--either directly, in hiring a lawyer; or indirectly, in time off from work) responding to it. It could be worth while to try to settle the matter with some mutually agreeable amount so as to not have to deal with litigation. If you can settle, get the settlement in writing and signed before passing over any money.


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