Seller did not disclose: can I get Good Faith Deposit Returned

3 Replies

Do I have a right to have my Good Faith Deposit returned? I lifted my contingencies on a purchase of a duplex.  A few days later I spoke with property manager who revealed BOTH properties had leaky roofs and water damage, yet sellers disclosed this on only one property.  Seller did disclose roof leak and water damage on the back unit but did not disclose anything on the front unit. This is true for the legal forms and when I explicitly inquired about lead, asbestos , etc. in the front unit. (NOTE: I only knew that the back unit had a leaky roof and mold because the tenant disclosed to me during the inspection that she had previously been advised of mold. The the sellers did not disclose knowledge of mold on their disclosures.)  Since this was a 1977 home I asked the sellers about whether there were any reports for water damage, lead, asbestos, etc. on the front unit and they stated no.  (Sellers' agent explained to me realtor that they are old and have someone else manage the property which led to them not properly disclosing the mold in the back house.)

Since speaking to the property manager two days ago I learned that BOTH duplexes had leaking roofs and water damage. I also come to find out that reports exist. (Coincidentally, when I informed my realtor that I spoke to the property manager and he informed me he had lead, asbestos, mold reports on BOTH units, she stated she had the reports for both units even though I was provided reports for only one unit.) 

QUESTIONS: 1) If I keep the property, how do negotiate new terms since the contingency  was lifted and how do I learn/trust what remediation was done?  2) If I walk away, may I still get my Good Faith Deposit returned?

@Jessica Garcia-Kohl , are you working with an agent? What is the property worth to you now that there are issues? Do you want to walk or keep the contract at a discount?

Another thing to consider is that these issues may have been fixed, which absolves the seller of disclosure. (This is probably not the case, but I would look into that further.)

If they outright lied, you should have grounds to have the EM returned, but definitely ask your agent or their broker.

@MindyJensen -- your response is informative and accurate. The sellers did take means to properly do the repairs through licensed contractors.  I assumed on the disclosure statement when it asks if they are aware of past issues of mold, etc. that they would still need to mark "yes" and then explain that they did remediation, but apparently that is not the case. Thanks for your input!