We made an offer on a property in our area and they accepted. We signed off contingencies and put our deposit in escrow.

Asked by Miyuki, California Thu Jun 14, 2012

A few days before closing, our pool builder told us that the property is not in the city we thought it was. It is in the next city over with lower house prices. We asked the realtor. (we are using the same realtor as the sellers) She verified that it is the city we thought it was originally. We called the county and the city and they have verified that it is in fact not in the city it was listed in. Now the realtor has told us that it doesn't matter and that it's a "dual address". She says that if we don't buy, we will have to give the seller our and deposit and even more money that that because we have caused a "loss in opportunity" for the seller. The closing date has now passed. Can they really sue us? We felt like this was a significant disclosure they did not give us. We're scared about being sued but don't want to just give up our deposit. This seems wrong, but we have no one to turn to. Any advice or comments?

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Roland Vinya…, Agent, Sprakers, NY
Fri Jun 15, 2012
Well, they are right about one thing - your money is definitely at risk. As I read your concerns, it seemed at first like the mistake over the address was probably an honest one. Then came up that "dual address" baloney, which sounds like an excuse for a screwup.

Now, I would not worry excessively about having the wrong address and having it affect values. If you are close enough to the "right" town for everyone, you included, to think that's what the address was, then it is certainly reasonable to assume that property in the "wrong" town sells higher there than it does elsewhere. The bigger concern is, do you like the home and the neighborhood? My assumption is that you do as you made an offer for the place. If you are going to live there for some years, as most folks do who buy, then potential resale value becomes far less important. And it becomes harder to predict; these things are fluid: the hot place to live in 2012 could become decidedly warm in 10 years and the one no one wanted in 2012 could become "the" place to live. Or not.
1 vote
Nancy A. Mei…, Agent, Roseville, CA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
I agree that if its that important to you to be in one city over another and you're now unhappy with the home and location, then perhaps consult a real estate attorney to find out what your options are. It appears that you may be looking in Granite Bay and if that's the case, its possible that when this home was built it was considered Roseville. What year was the home built that you are in contract on? If you want to contact me, I'd be happy to look it up for you and give you more information that may be helpful to you. All the best to you.
0 votes
Miyuki, Home Buyer, California
Fri Jun 15, 2012
Our biggest question now is if we decide not to buy, can the seller sue us not only for the deposit but more because of lost opportunity? That's what the realtor is telling us. She is advising us to almost double the amount in the deposit and give it to the seller. Our deposit is 15k.
0 votes
Morgan Larson, Agent, Folsom, CA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
False disclosure makes us feel betrayed. I understand how confused and nervous you must feel. This problem occurs in the Cameron Park / Shingle Springs area all the time, because they share the same zip code. with a Realtor on your side, they would have known from the beginning which city you were actually in.

However, I do agree with Ron. The main questions you need to ask yourself are: do you love the home? do you want to live there for a long time? did you see anything in the city you actually wanted to live in that even remotely compared to this home?

If you want to live in this home, you don't really have anything to worry about as far as resale. It will always sell for the value that home buyers think it's worth.

If you really want to live in the other city, and are willing to sacrifice this home, call a real estate attorney now. I'm not sure how much they can help at this point, but it's worth a shot. The reason I'm sure it can help, is because I'm sure you were given the preliminary title report, and it always lists the correct city.

I wish you the best.
0 votes
Laura Coffey, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
This is why you have two different agents in a transaction. You need a real estate attorney ASAP. I would also hold the agents feet to the fire as well for not disclosing it was either the
0 votes
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
She may be right about the "dual address"; we have seen this with older areas. They will assign two APN numbers and over the years, boundries will change. Eventually, it is grandfathered in and forgotten.
This may not even be a good basis for a Disclosure Complaint.

Maybe the Title Company should have discovered the problem; you might talk to them.

The arguement may be made that you had the chance to do your DILIGENCE and you assigned your VALUE to the property: Now, you want to lower YOUR VALUE, and it is sour grapes.

The house didn't move; it is WORTH what it is worth; and argueing about the pool as a reason for not buying the house, will not be well received by an Arbitrator/Mediator.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes
James Gordon…, Agent, Hamilton, OH
Fri Jun 15, 2012
It is always fun to use the Realtor® representing the seller and then find out that they are telling you whatever you want to hear to make the sale.Contact a Real Estate attorney for advice or the Realtors® broker for satisfaction.
0 votes
Shanna Rogers, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Thu Jun 14, 2012
Hi Miyuki,

Contact a Real Estate Attorney as soon as possible for legal advice. Make sure you have all your signed contracts available when you speak with him/her.

Shanna Rogers
SR Realty
0 votes
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