Before You Buy Or Sell A House, Read This! (Or You Can Expose Yourself To Unnecessary Risk)

Even before the offer was submitted, there were some concerns about the house. For example, the foundation was sinking, a fact that could be seen with the naked eye.

The real estate agent, who acted for both the seller and the buyer, gave Zoriana a copy of the Seller Property Information Sheet (SPIS). The SPIS is a document prepared by the vendor which discloses information about the property. In this case, the SPIS prepared by the seller, with help from the real estate agent, said that the foundation problems had been resolved years earlier. This turned out to be untrue.

The SPIS also disclosed that there were no plumbing problems. This too was untrue; the system backed up at least twice a year.

Once Zoriana moved into the house she discovered, to her horror, the entire north foundation wall and the northern portion of the west foundation wall of her dream home had settled, and continued to settle, to the point where the very stability of the house was in jeopardy. At the same time, the plumbing problems were also discovered.

In the end, to make it safe and habitable, the house had to be jacked up and removed from the crumbling foundation and then replaced atop the new foundation.

Zoriana had originally paid $110,000.00 for the house. The actual cost of repair was $191,414.94. Ouch!

Not surprisingly, the Court of Appeal found that the sellers were liable to Zoriana. They also found the real estate agent liable.

So, what's to be learned from this dream purchase gone horribly wrong?

Lesson to be learned? If the sellers had spoken to a competent real estate lawyer, they would have been advised as to the importance of accuracy in making any representations about the condition of their house.

Additionally, if the buyer had spoken to a competent real estate lawyer prior to making an offer, they would have been cautioned about submitting an unconditional offer without first obtaining a home inspection report.

The Ross Firm has years of experience, involving thousands of successful real estate transactions. We know the pitfalls. We know real estate law.

Give us a call.

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