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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 18822
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I received a letter from a real estate attorney representing

Customer Question

I received a letter from a real estate attorney representing the buyer of my Aurora Colorado rental property (sold to the buyer on 04/29/2016) recently stating a claim of $ 8,500. The claim amount comes after receiving a call in August 2016 thru the buy/sell Realtors that I agreed to provide a "a 12 month Home Warranty" in the sales contract. We closed the sale in April and there was not requirement in the signed sale for me to provide the warranty and no mention until 4 months later in August. The house per the contract was sold "As is". A home inspection was completed by the buyer and we agreed to his list of inspection resolution items (both buyer and seller). In his attorney letter, he claims Fraud and misrepresentation inasmuch as my Realtor listed new BR sinks (versus one new sink), new wood BR flooring (versus vinyl wood look alike) besides the home warranty not provided. I purchased a new home warranty because I had agreed to do that and did in August when advised even though we closed the sale and he bought the house as is. When I provided him the warranty he said the Realtor MLS said it would be a Blue Ribbon (specific provider) warranty and the one I purchased for him was not a Blue Ribbon. My local Fraud expert says the misrepresentations by the Realtor fall into the category of "Negligent Misrepresentation of the facts" as categorized by the Colorado Rea Estate Commission and should be addressed by my Realtor who made the incorrect portrayals (Sinks, Woods, etc) and that takes any fraud or misrepresentation off my shoulders and puts it on the Realtor. He says my Realtor should contact the Realtors counsel to relieve me of that issue. As such, I would even agree to provide the Blue Ribbon Warranty and a couple other miner things even though my fraud expert and even my Realtor dont believe I should have to because he bought the house as is. What is your legal opinion around the Realtor and responsibility for the misrepresentation or even fraud? I never had made the representation that there were sinks, wood, etc in any ad I had previously made when the house was for sale such as on craigs list. Thx
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Hello: This isCustomer Welcome to JustAnswer! I am reviewing your post, and I will post my response very shortly. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Unless the representations specifically survived the Purchase and Sale Agreement--unless there is a provision in your Purchase and Sale Agreement that states that the representations (home warranty, new sinks, etc) would survive the Purchase and Sale Agreement, the representations became unenforceable at the conclusion of the real estate transaction. The Purchase and Sale Agreement became null and void after the closing. In other words, Purchase and Sale Agreement became inoperative after the closing. So, you and your realtor have no further obligation to the Buyer after the closing.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The buyer's attorney must know what you are suggesting to say in the letter that we "Fraudulantly misrepresented the house and its conditions specifically within the context of the MLS listing by the Realtor which I had no part in authoring. Specifically, the Realtor listed new sinks versus one new BR sink; and "new wood BR flooring" versus parquet vinyl wood look alike, and new window screens where there were not new screens. We live out of state and never saw the MLS listing since my Realtor was handling all matters related to showing and selling the house. In any case I have spoken to the Colo Real Estate Commission and the lead investigator told me it sounds like if the buyer has any issue with the aforementioned items, they should speak with the Realtor not me. If the buyer won any claim against me, I would logically turn around to my Realtor for compensation. Having said that, the investigator said none of the items mentioned really rise to the level of fraudulant misrepresentation. Having said that, my understanding from your conclusions that the purchase and sale agreement signed by both buyer and seller; based upon the buyers acceptance of the property "As Is"; and after his inspector inspected all elements of the house and we signed the inspection resolution; that the purchase and sale agreement is null and void? If he decides to sue me anyway for the $ 8,500, I guess I have a good case but would still be out court costs and attorneys fees which would likely rise to the amount of any darn settlement I should go ahead and try to make?? Agree?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Having said that, my understanding from your conclusions that the purchase and sale agreement signed by both buyer and seller; based upon the buyers acceptance of the property "As Is"; and after his inspector inspected all elements of the house and we signed the inspection resolution; that the purchase and sale agreement is null and void?

Response 1: Not exactly. Purchase and Sale Agreement becomes null and void after the closing except for those provisions which are specifically stated to survive the agreement. This is because the closing of the transaction officially terminates the Purchase and Sale Agreement.

If he decides to sue me anyway for the $ 8,500, I guess I have a good case but would still be out court costs and attorneys fees which would likely rise to the amount of any darn settlement I should go ahead and try to make?? Agree?

Response 2: Agree. However, if you prevail, you go ask the Court assess your Court costs on the Buyer. In any event, you go after the Broker for reimbursement.

Goodluck with your case,

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