Chicago, IL asked in Real Estate Law for Colorado

Q: If you find out the seller lied about a death to play on you sympathies to let them out of RE contract, is that fraud?

This is a real estate home purchase contract in Colorado. The seller states they had a death in the family and now need to stay and keep their house. We, being kind people, agreed if they provide payment for expenses we have incurred. If we find out he lied and sells to someone else for more, is it fraud?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Joseph Larranaga
Michael Joseph Larranaga pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Parker, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: Afternoon,

The concept of fraud revolves around the intent to deceive.

The test is rather complex but in general, if a seller lies about the specific subject matter to induce you to take a specific action that you otherwise would not have taken, it could be fraud. You need to talk to an attorney.

An attorney will look for things such as materiality, reliance, justification, and so on.

If fraud did occur, then you may be able to pursue a claim for the value lost. IE, if you were set to purchase the property for $300,000, the seller committed fraud, then sold the property a few days later for $400,000, you should talk to an attorney.

Like I said it is a complex question. Not every situation will constitute fraud. It is a fact-based analysis.

Please be aware, any answer is based on the events occurring in Colorado. Further, please be aware that this is not legal advice. This is generic information intended to help the reader develop questions to ask an attorney when they are ready. Each case is different. Anyone reading this answer in need of legal advice should contact an attorney. Larranaga Law offers free case evaluation. Please note that representation is not guaranteed.

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