Q: Our new houses well is dry, no issues were disclosed, and we've already closed. Are the sellers financially responsible?

I moved my family into a new house in Quincy, Michigan. A day after moving in, our water stops working. It turns out the well is dry, and the whole area is just bad for water. We spoke with multiple well contractors and learned that we can install a good well about 100 yards from the house at the cost of $11,500. Are we financially responsible for this? We KNOW the sellers had knowledge of this issue and did not disclose the information. Unfortunately with a price tag that large, we'd be better off going after the sellers agent. I don't know if we can prove they had knowledge of the well issues though... Do we have a case?

2 Lawyer Answers
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
Answered
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Howell, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Without seeing the closing paperwork and disclosures it is hard to say for sure. You need to have a local attorney look at the paperwork (did you use an attorney to review the closing? You SHOULD have!) to determine if anything like this can survive the closing.

Did you do inspections? Maybe the inspector is liable if there is something obvious he missed?

Again, there MAY be things you can do, but you'll need local guidance to insure you proceed properly.

-- This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.

I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice

David Soble
David Soble
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Farmington Hills, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Fraud is the legal action to be taken against a seller who knowingly and willfully disregards the truth of the home's condition prior to sale in order that a buyer relies upon these misleading statements. Your ability to maintain a successful action for fraud will be dependent on the seller's home disclosure, as well as the terms of the purchase agreement and the home inspection report.

Under Michigan law, a seller is not required to search for defects in a home when completing the disclosure. They are only required to provide a good faith disclosure about any information they know about a home's defects while they lived in the property.

I would want to know if you ever had a well inspection before your closing as a condition for obtaining a mortgage (required for government backed mortgages). As for suing a real estate agent, it is highly unlikely you will prevail against a real estate agent as they would have to be grossly negligent or conspired to commit fraud - very high legal thresholds.

Definitely check out www.ProvenResource.com for more information

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