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    Renting & Real Estate

    Question

    House sold under misrepresentation?
    10/3/07: My husband and I bought a golf course-view house in Indianapolis, Indiana. We closed 5 days ago; moved-in 4 days ago; and 2 days ago found out that the golf course is scheduled to close. It was announced by the golf course management 2 years ago at the home-owners' association meeting, and the seller and her realtor most likely knew. But they did not disclose it to us, even though they had ample opportunity to do so. They had advertised the house everywhere as golf course view. We definitely would not have bought the house if we had known that the view is there only for 2 more months. We paid for the view and know that homes without a view like that go for a lot less. Now a school or more homes are scheduled to be constructed in its place. What are our legal rights? Can we "return" the sale of the house? Please advise. Thanks.
    a few seconds ago 10 Answers

    Best Answer

    You own the home. The realtor did not lie to you. They promised a "golf-course view", which is exactly what you got. Based on yopur statement, the realtor never promised that the golf course would remain open indefinitely. Since there is a homeowner's association that apparently (based on you statement) controls the golf course, the realtor may not have know the golf course was closing, unless he/she lives in that development. Homeowner's associations are proivate groups, so there may not have been a public record of this decision. The only way ytou could take any legal action would be if the real estate agent stated that the golf course was to remain open ofr a longer preiod of time. And even then, the burden of proof is on you (the acuser), so if you don't have it in writing, you would probably lose the case anyhow. You have two options. Either keep the house or sell the house. If you sell a house that you just moved in to, that will look suspicious to a potential buyer, so it will be harder to sell and you will probably lose money. That leaves your only logical decision as to close the house and keep your mouth shut, because if you blame the realtor publicly, you may end up with a slander lawsuit with YOU in the defendant's chair.
    a few seconds ago

    Other Answers

    • excuse my naivity; but unless the land under the grass is to be set up for housing--why would not a new owner re-open the course? HOW can anyone anywhere guarantee the longevity of any business? IT was open when you viewed and signed! if the course must be open to please you, then re-sell it while the course is still running. [or something like that.]

      by kemperk - 11 hours ago

    • After you speak to an attorney, go ahead and speak to a few more...sue for all you can. Maybe you can check other homes sold in the last few months by these Realtors under the same conditions, now you may find a class action sue. or at least a group on buyers that got scammed to join forces.

      by Jovesash - 11 hours ago

    • First off, get an attorney who specializes in real estate in Indiana, and ask them. Each state has its own law. Here in California, agents and sellers are liable for disclosing not only what they knew, but what they reasonably should have known. They are required to disclose all such information that a reasonable person might consider in their decision on whether to buy a particular property, and by well precedented extension, whether to pay a particular price. Cases have been decided based upon an increased water bill, that the court ruled should have tipped the owner off to the fact that there was a leak somewhere, and water is notorious for its erosional capability, among other things. Were you in California, it appears as if you might have a very strong case. I have no idea whatsoever about whether it's worth pursuing, even if the law in Indiana is similar. For that, you need to talk to a local attorney.

      by Searchlight Crusade - 11 hours ago

    • Consult an attorney as soon as possible. And get a good one, one who has experience in real estate fraud matters. The attorney's reputation will give credibility to your case If you have a reasonable claim, but a good attorney will tell you straight out that you don't have a claim that s/he is willing spend time on. Real estate laws are state by state. Here in California we have a lot of consumer protection. A fraud claim would apply if the seller or agent intentially mispresented a material fact that would cause a reasonable buyer to act differently. There is a long list of elements there to prove, but fraud claims come with the possibility of punitive damages. Ounitive damages are not, and legally cannot, be covered by insurance. So credible fraud claims, and they have to be credible, can have a more direct impact on defendants than negligence claims. Your negligence claim would be that the other parties had a duty to disclose the golf course issue, that they knew about it or should have investigated it, that they failed to disclose it (check those disclosures, you might have signed off on it), and that you were damaged by their failure. In this case, the damages might be the difference in value between a golf course home and non golf course home. But the question would arise whether your damages are speculative because it has not closed yet. The "duty" part of this chain, in particular, will depend on what state law requires. So really, it's complex and requires a review by a good attorney who knows the statutes and case law in your state. Talk to you local county bar association about a referral.

      by artwhiterealtor - 11 hours ago

    • reread your disclosure's you might have missed it, it's not the Realtor that misrepresented, it was the seller, if it's not included in the homeowners disclosure's you might be able to sue for damages, you need to speak to a real estate attorney in your area

      by willliam d - 11 hours ago

    • Basically you bought the home with a golf course view, and that it has. If in a year from now the golf course decided to close what would you do then? File suit because the course was going to close and you bought for the view? what if 10 years?

      by Pengy - 11 hours ago

    • I think you may have a case against the realtor and the broker. Did you recieve a condition report on a state authorized form? If your state statutes encourage such a form, there may be a line about the seller disclosing proposed negative land use changes or something to that effect. If the seller or agent knew what you suspect they knew, but filled out a disclosure form as if they didn't, you have something tangible and may have an easier time extracating yourself from this deal. Did you get an appraisal as part of the transaction? If you borrowed money to buy the home, your lender probably required one. The appraisal will show if the golf course was considered part of the appeal of the home. Look for reference to it in the narrative of the appraisal, since the comparable values used in establishing value, probably included at least some sales based on the course being viable, and perhaps some made with the knowledge of the course closing. How sure are you that the course is closing? Is the school or further development a sure thing or just a possible alternative use? Don't be sure that a school will detract from your homes value vs a golf course. Depending on the quality of the new homes, a school nearby and some new homes might actually boost your home's value. If the price difference you paid is in the mid 10s of thousands, it may be worth getting an attorney to advise you of your options. do this immediately though, any time that goes by between you finding this out and acting willl work against you. but as soon as you file in court, the clock stops ticking in that regard. Good luck.

      by John M - 11 hours ago

    • I won't say you have no recourse, but I agree with HTY that it will be difficult. You will have to show knowledge. For example, did the seller belong to the golf club? Were stories about it in the newspapers or newsletters that the broker read? You may also have a problem if the contract says no representations are part of the deal unless they are written into the contract, or if it says, you should check the zoning and planning office for information about what's planned for your area. If you do get proof, you can try filing a complaint against the broker with the state Real Estate Commission. You may also need to have a new appraisal done to verify if the property loses value--no court will take your word alone for that fact.

      by AnOrdinaryGuy - 11 hours ago

    • Have you ever heard of anyone "returning" a house????? Both the seller and the realtor have much to lose so they will back each other up. You have absolutely no recourse. Everybody is trying to give you hope, but you have none. You will not be able to prove one darn thing and it is silly that you are wasting your money on an attorney. next time, you may want to do some research before you buy a house and not put the blame on others.

      by Hello to You! - 11 hours ago

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