Property Q&A in Orindawoods>Question Details

Looloo, Home Buyer in Orindawoods, Orinda,...

Can I get my deposit money back if the seller made false disclosures?

Asked by Looloo, Orindawoods, Orinda, CA Tue Oct 6, 2009

I have removed inspection contingencies and we are 4 days from close on a property in CA...I just found out that the seller made false discolsures to me... can I cancel the deal ? we have not closed yet, but removed all inspection is a significant item that will end up costing us $800 more per month than what was disclosed to us...will we /can we get our deposit money back if we cancel the deal?

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Barbara Wilson’s answer
With complete seriousness - Better get yourself a real estate attorney - fast. Call your lender too - $800 more may make you unqualified for the loan and they may not lend to you, and therefore won't fund the loan and then you may be able to get out. Call your agent - why aren't you asking them? Please don't tell me you are representing yourself - I hope you didn't think you'd save yourself some money because this job isn't very hard - I hope you are not learning the hard way....Good luck. It can be done if it can be proved, but you may end up losing some or all of your earnest money.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 6, 2009

Without knowing the specifics of the disclosure you are speaking of it will be difficult to give you a clear cut answer.

Have you talked with your Realtor? This should be your first step. They really should be there to help you navigate this to try to come to an understanding regarding the disclosure and what measures you can take.

The second question I would ask is how do you know it is a false disclosure? Do you have some kind of documentation? Typically unless something is in writing, it is hard to prove.

Without some real specifics regarding the situation it is somewhat diffcult to provide specific advice. I highly recommend you speak with the agent who is representing you. Hopefully you are working with a buyers agent. This is one of the reasons everyone should work with a buyers agent to make sure you have someone to help represent you, the buyer, in the transaction.

Sorry to hear you are having a difficult time. Many times bumps in the road do happen and speaking with your Realtor to see what the potential solutions are would be the best first step for you.

Hope this helps!

Lisa Cartolano
Alain Pinel Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 7, 2009

(1) You should be asking your agent this question.

(2) If you used a CAR Form RPA-CA purchase agreement, which is standard practice, carefully read paragraphs:

This is NOT legal advice - Seller is required to disclose all known adverse conditions affecting the property; if Seller becomes aware of ANY adverse conditions affecting the property OR inaccuracies in ANY prior Seller disclosures/representations to Buyer, Seller MUST provide an ammended WRITTEN disclosure noting those adverse conditions and/or inaccuracies. Buyer has 3 DAYS UPON RECEIPT of such disclosure to cancel the agreement by giving WRITTEN notice of cancellation to Seller or Seller's agent. Buyer has rights to a return of his/her deposit if Buyer cancels contract in accordance with his/her cancellation rights under the purchase agreement.

(3) Contact a real estate attorney ASAP if you believe you have cause for cancellation. If you don't already have a real estate attorney referral, I can HIGHLY recommend:

Shannon Jones
Shannon Jones Law Group
Danville, CA
(925) 837-2315


Best regards,

Richard Hoag
Premier Reatly Services
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 6, 2009
Your question will lead to more questions to understand your situation

During your buyer investigation period, it is up to you to do your own due diligence about a property. In addition to seller disclosures, presumably you also researched permit history, had inspections done,, checked the preliminary report for liens, etc., reviewed the Natural Hazards and tax report (is there Mello Roos?).

It isn't and should not be enough to rely on the disclosures that the seller (or his realtor) provides you. As they say, "trust but verify". That's why you have an investigation period to research the property --- not just its physical condition, but for any claims, liens, and other factors that affects its value.

What other contingencies have you removed? Loan appraisal? Loan approval? If you haven't removed these contingencies yet, you certainly have an opportunity to back out of the agreement and get your deposit back.

Hopefully you are represented by a realtor/broker who should guide you to your next step. But if not, you should speak to a real estate attorney to determine your next recourse.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 6, 2009
Hi Looloo,

What a terrible situation to be in. Contacting a real estate attorney may be the best thing to do but before you do that, contact the parties involved and try to come up with a resolution that works for you. $800/month more is very serious! IF you are working with a Realtor who is representing you, tell them to contact the other party about your concerns right away so the transaction does not take it's course. May I ask which property you are inquiring on? and what the disclosure is? It might make a difference if a third party looked at your situation. You can email me directly if you do not wish to share your information on the open forum. I wish you luck!

Kamal Randhawa
"Straight answers all the time"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 6, 2009
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