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Richard, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 55297
Experience:  32 years of experience practicing law and a businessman.
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I purchased a Sears Hometown store about 1 year ago. The projected

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I purchased a Sears Hometown store about 1 year ago. The projected income based on what the previous owner suggested it would be is at least 50,000 less per year than what he claimed the store would be based off due diligence. The labor is twice as high and delivery income is about 25% of what I was told. Our sales only decreased about 5% so I feel the previous owner was dishonest. Another thing that happened was I signed for the close on the store a day before I was given a contract from Sears. The signature was predated a week so technically I received the contract before the actual legal close date. Either way should Sears have given me more time to read the contract? The day I received the contract (which was a docu-sign) was 2 days before corporate training. After a week of corporate training I took the store over. No days in between.This was many pages so I really did not have time to read it in 2 days. I have not went through the whole contract to date and am finding out that Sears can charge me back for many things. The 2 questions I have are 1. can I get more information from the previous owner now and hold him accountable if he was dishonest. And is there a way to hold Sears accountable if they were supposed to give me more than 1 week to sign a contract?.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. You do have a valid cause of action against your seller. What you want to do is raise the stakes on them so that they know that not complying with your demands is going to cost them far more in the end than simply giving you your refund now. You should send your seller a certified, return receipt requested letter detailing the results and misrepresentations and make a demand that the purchase price be adjusted and he refund you the excess you paid within a short specified period of time. Inform him that if your demand is not timely complied with, you will have no choice but to file a suit against him for your damages. Be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this claim not only as a breach of contract case, but also as fraud and deceptive trade practice actions, which will entitle you not only to your actual damages, but also an additional amount equal to multiple times your actual damages as punitive damages. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your suit. It's not likely, however, that you would be able to prevail in your suit against Sears. You would be held legally responsible for what you signed. But, you would be able to add to your damages against seller any damages you suffered due to not being allowed adequate time to review due diligence documents, or if the documents were other than as represented to you by seller...such as the Sears contract...before being required to close.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK thanks.


It is probably not the sellers fault that I received the Sears contract so late. That would be the district manager being at fault. I believe I was supposed to receive the contract 30 days before I took over the store.


It might be hard to prove the seller"s labor but he told me and wrote it down that he had $58,000 in labor and that with a full time owner that could easily be cut in half. I will have that much in labor with me working over 60 hours a week. He also told me and wrote it down that delivery income would be 2,000 to 4,000 if I did my own installs. You can not make that much in this store each month. But that might be hard to prove also because some owners gross $40,000 per year in deliveries but with the cost of labor and fuel you might make 50% on the high end. Normally it would be closer to 30% to 40%. He told me that his deliveries were a wash but I found out later he had delivery income so the $2400 per month turns out to be less than I anticipated.

I know you can not give me all of the answers but thanks for all of your input.

Thanks so much for following up. It's my pleasure to help. I think if you send the letter, you'll get something from your seller. In my experience, sellers want to avoid any risk of a fraud or deceptive trade practice suit which comes with the punitive damages, and a letter outlining the possibility of that tends to get these things settled without ever getting to the need to file the suit. I wish you the best!!!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Two last questions :


If Sears policy requires that a buyer receives 30 days to read a contract, and since that did not happen , is there some sort of recourse such as the contract not really being legal? Keep in mind I closed on the store and signed in ink , but post dated it for a week later. Also the contract was only a docusign and was sent to me the day after I signed in ink. Is the docu sign really legal? It seems rather peculiar that the contract would come out after I signed for the close of the business?

Based on that policy, you would have a cause of action against Sears. I'm not sure you would prevail, but I think you have enough to justify filing suit which, as I mentioned to you on the letter to seller, is probably going to be enough to get Sears to settle this with you. You could allege this is a contract of adhesion...which is so one-sided toward Sears..especially given you were not afforded the 30 days as referenced in Sears' policy.
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