Ajweiske, Home Buyer in

Penalties for lying in a listing, specifically "roof, windows, siding are 3 yo"; find out from city, permits pulled 11 years ago. Thoughts?

Asked by Ajweiske, Mon Oct 29, 2012

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This question was asked from this property: http://www.trulia.com/property/map/3062310585-525-Lund-Ave-N…

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Realtors can have stiff penalties if we intentionally lie or hide any "material facts" about the home. Although I will say that when it comes to the items you have discussed most of us take the sellers word for it on the "seller disclosure", and then simply relay this on the MLS.

It is possible that the work was completed without permits. Line 71 of the seller disclosure technically gives the seller an opportunity to let you know of this. However, in my experience most sellers have no clue if a contractor does this. The only time I see that line filled out is if the homeowner completed it themselves. During the inspection you should have a clearer idea of the "age" of these replacements.

If you are simply in the inspection period then you have done your job well and I would not be concerned about recourse, because you will probably just walk away. Although, I will reiterate that regardless of whether the seller mislead you or not if the mechanicals of the property pan out is it worth walking away? What about maybe bringing this up to the seller and asking a price reduction somewhat?

If you have already purchased the home the usual recourse is arbitration (if you and the seller agreed to it) as long as it falls within the timeline.

In the end though we are not attorneys and can not give legal advice. Any time you decide to take legal action in a real estate transaction the best route is to have them on your side.

~Chris
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 30, 2012
We are now reporting the realtor to the MN board for misrepresenting the property. Do you think that's the best recourse? Unfortunately, we've already tried getting our inspection money back based on the false info given by the seller/agent to begin with, but they refuse. We may be out the money, but I'm concerned that these people keep trying to get one over on the next victim and I don't think that's right, especially since they know what they're doing. Like I said, patronizing us and saying we don't understand the market is ridiculous considering, with our own research, we were able to call out their lies.
Flag Tue Oct 30, 2012
Thanks, Chris, the MLS was where the info was listed - it has since been dropped. We presented our findings about the real ages to them when we made our final offer, in which we tried to offer less and have the seller fix nothing. The offer we made was too low to them, but to us, considered the appropriate value of things based on their REAL ages. Even though they pretty much called us stupid, they still wanted to work with us and be allowed to fix things (even though they didn't install things correctly to begin with when they flipped the house as found in our inspection), but did not give any reduction price, and furthermore wanted US to figure out and present to them what the roof, etc would be worth to an appraiser. Based on the amount of lies and them patronizing us saying we didn't understand the market, we didn't feel comfortable letting them fix anything or lead us on another adventure. Sale off, on to the next one. Best money we ever spent on that inspection though!
Flag Tue Oct 30, 2012
This is a major reason the MLS has an option for "seller provided" under source of info. Sometimes the info from the seller just isn't accurate, whether they lie or they just don't remember it correctly. Also possible that the building department site is incorrect. Who knows??
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 30, 2012
Another couple possibility is they may have done the work but not pulled proper permits. If you purchased the home you can go back to your agent and have them ask the question of the listing agent and see what answers they get. You can an attorney or pursue arbitration if you purchased the home and feel that you were lied to.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 30, 2012
Hi, Ajweiske!
ugh.....I hate when that happens!! So, were these alleged lies on the MLS listing??? I only ask because information on websites other than the MLS can be changed by anyone, which accounts for why websites like zillow are SOOOOO inaccurate!!

Sellers sometimes don't remember correctly or they lie, and when the agent takes that kind of info directly from the seller, incorrect info gets posted. I'm wondering, if permits were pulled, did they actually get the work done at that time? And, maybe there was storm damage or something after that 11 year old permit pulling that had those items being replaced again?? I don't know, just posing the question.

That shouldn't happen, but it does!! Good for you for digging so carefully. The "qualifier" on the MLS in case information gets incorrectly quoted or the person entering the information makes an error in typing, the reports clearly say, "information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

Thanks for informing us~
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 29, 2012
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