Real estate agent deliberately lied about flood zone, costing us $685 - sue?

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by OohPooPahDoo, Aug 17, 2011.

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Should we sue to recover our losses?

  1. Yes

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  2. No

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  3. Maybe

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  1. OohPooPahDoo
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    OohPooPahDoo Gold Member

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    Wife and I entered a purchase agreement on a home that was advertised as being in flood zone "B" - which means a) flood insurance not required by law b) flood insurance is cheap (less than $400 per year) c) risk of flood between 0.2% and 1% per year. Our cost for home inspection, termite inspection, and sewer inspection was $685. Then we find out the agent lied about the flood zone - really its flood zone "A" - which means a) flood insurance required by law b) flood insurance is at least $1200 per year c) flood risk is greater than 1% in a year.

    We have email evidence that the agent knew the property was in flood zone A. So we were deliberately lied to, it wasn't just an honest mistake. Had we known the property was in A we would have not even placed a bid on it, let alone waste $685 and weeks of our time.


    Should we sue to recover our losses?
     
  2. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    Sure, since we're in an era where regulation is a bad word, we're going to have to expand the courts to cover situations of this sort. Don't really see why liberatarians think this is better than well defined rules and effective enforcement. In the long run pre-emption would seem to cost less than endless lawsuits, regardless of which side wins.
     
  3. martybegan
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    martybegan Gold Member

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    How would more regulation help? The need for flood insurance is a regulation after all. Regulation will not stop people from lying.

    If you have documented proof that he misrepresented the flood zone, go for it.
     
  4. Mr. H.
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    Mr. H. Diamond Member

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    At the very least, you could cause the agent to lose his/her license.
    But yeah- sue the muthafugga.
     
  5. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    Regulation with real teeth in it will stop most from lying. Lax regulation will only insure that more will, clogging up the courts with that favorite of libertarians, the fraud lawsuit. Problem is that it would open us up to very long trials to determine when someone's "sharp business pratices" becomes someone else's "fraud". Well thought out regulation, eliminates a lot of that grey area. Denigrating all regulation because some is onerous is like "throwing the baby out with the bathwater".
     
  6. OohPooPahDoo
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    Litigation can often be more efficient than regulation.

    a) it takes most of the work off the government's back - all the government provides is a forum to settle the dispute (court) and
    b) provides ordinary citizens (me in this case) a financial incentive to go after the bad guys instead



    That's a key difference between our system and Europe's - Europe has more regulation, we have more litigation.
     
  7. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    I don't see how litigation is any cheaper. Also, with litigation you're getting an "after the fact" solution, i.e. the damage has been done. Wouldn't it be cheaper in the liong run, if the damage isn't done in the first place?
     
  8. DiAnna
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    DiAnna Political Half-Breed

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    Yes, you should sue. The Realtor (in most states) is required to make full disclosure about the property, including flood zones. The fact that the Realtor lied gives you pretty good leverage... and could cost the Realtor his/her license. For that reason you may wish to first issue a letter of demand, insisting that your losses be covered and threatening to both sue and contact the Realtor Licensing Board if you don't get a check.
     
  9. Missourian
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    Yes, and you will likely not have to go to court.

    Every Real Estate agent I know carries Errors and Omission insurance to cover these types of suits.


    Most likely the insurance company or the agent will simply settle.

    You should first take your grievance to the agent.

    If he/she is unwilling or unable to resolve it, ask to see his/her real estate broker...the broker owns the independent agency that the Agent works for.

    If the Agent is also the broker, threaten to file a grievance with the HQ of the franchise (i.e. Century 21, Long & Foster, Prudential), the Better Business Bureau and the Board of Realtors.

    If the threat doesn't get results, contact the HQ, the BBB and the BOR.

    If contacting those entities does not resolve your grievance to your satisfaction...then you should sue in small claims court. No lawyers required.

    In the interim, keep detailed notes of times and dates of who you contacted, your point of contacts name, and what you discussed.

    That's the best advice I can give you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  10. Toro
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    Toro Diamond Member

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    Yes, but you should have checked it yourself. I did.

    But that still didn't prevent us from flooding...
     

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