Buyer suing seller after sale

9 Replies

Hello fellow real estate-ers, wanted to share the following experience and get your thoughts:

I sold a house (primary residence but was vacant for a year) about two months ago. 

The house was partially renovated but with visible gaps. During the inspection period the buyer got his own inspection and tried to get me to perform repairs, I refused but he negotiated additional $5000 seller's assist (in addition to $5000 seller assist he negotiated before the inspection, total $10000 in seller's assist), and we reached an agreement and closed.   

Additionally, I provided him a previous inspection report (done by a buyer who backed out) for his review prior to making an offer. Both inspection reports called out a long list of repairs, although the previous inspection had more issues that I addressed before the new buyer's inspection.

Buyer's claim: buyer send me the attached letter claiming that he bought the house because he thought it was renovated well and now he has to spend money on renovations and repairing damages resulting from the unpermitted work

My claim:

The buyer had never asked for permits and neither me or my realtor ever claimed permits were pulled for any work. 

Prior to inspection the buyer asked if the plumbing was upgraded and my realtor replied that "some plumbing was upgraded and some is old" not specifying which rooms are updated.

Buyer claims in the letter that he had no reason to expect problems with workmanship. That is inaccurate as the buyer did notice a lot of workmanship issues and even negotiated seller's assist when I refused to perform repairs.

Btw this house is in Virginia, which doesn't require detailed disclosures from the seller. And I never made any representations regarding permits.

Please let me know what you think!

Do you think this a series claim? How would you respond?

Letter:

Thank you!

Well ... a ‘strange’ lawsuit because the buyer was supposed to do his homework better (as experienced investor call it ‘due diligence’). As long as you didn’t hide anything during the inspection everything should be fine, except the money that you have to spend for the lawyer. 

Based on the Facebook reviews, this law firm is in Maryland - not even Virginia - and is part of Legalshield.  They have not been paid to retain the guy in a suit.  That would not be covered by his $39.99 Legalshield rip off fee (or however much it is).  They just sent a scare letter.  I would probably ignore it and hire an attorney only if a suit was filed. 

Just noticed that they list a Richmond address on the bottom of your letterhead.  Doesn’t change the fact that they are a Legalshield firm, with the purpose of writing letters, assisting with simple cases like traffic court, etc.

Here’s what it says is covered on the LegalSheld website.  Nothin’ Much Honey! Forget about it.

What is covered under a LegalShield Legal Plans
  • Access a variety of legal services including: advice on unlimited issues, attorney letters or calls made on your behalf, contract and document review (up to 15 pages each) and more. Review a plan contract for complete terms, coverage, amounts, conditions and exclusions.

Thanks for the replies. 

I definitely agree with Patti, that legal shield service includes free letter writing which seems like what they got.

Yes, the buyer did his due diligence: 

got an inspection, and negotiated $10K in seller assist for repiars. I haven't hidden anything about what was done in the house, answered every question he had (paint colors, HVAC operation). In fact I provided him a paid-for inspection report that detailed a bunch of defects and not-up-to-code issues.  And having said all that, the house was (and probably still is) fully functional. the buyer walked through multiple times, tested all the systems, and never found a deal breaking issue. 

The signed seller affidavit only has representations regarding the title and liens, which had no issues.

Another funny thing to mention here is how he got my address, he had his realtor reach out to my realtor to say they got package/mail to the house with my name on it and to see if I want to provide a forwarding address. Needless to say- I got no packages/mail forwarded.

I can also update that I consulted with two lawyers (one through a free service my job offers, kinda like legal shield lol, and the other is my closing attorney), they both agreed it is not a serious claim and doesn't warrant a response. They also said that it's not enough basis for an abuse-of-process suit.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on this!

Originally posted by @Eran Stalkol :

Another funny thing to mention here is how he got my address, he had his realtor reach out to my realtor to say they got package/mail to the house with my name on it and to see if I want to provide a forwarding address. Needless to say- I got no packages/mail forwarded.

Is this even legal, faking a reason for person address?