Home sales issues


Sir: My wife and I recently sold a home. In the process of the sale, an inspection discovered water in the lower level. We'd lived there for 10 years, and hadn't any prior issues. We fixed the damage and had the walls waterproofed. While the particular sale leading to the discovery of this issue fell through, we added this to the disclosure statement and went on to sell the home to someone else. The buyer continued to have issues with water, finally had to hire an additional company to add a sump pump and exterior waterproofing, costing several thousands of dollars. He then hired a lawyer and has threatened to sue us for the cost of the repair, claiming we were not honest in our disclosure. Again, we'd never had any issues and made sure to list the leak that we discovered on the disclosure, and provided him with the receipt for the work done upon closing. Is this something that we need to hire a lawyer for, and as a drilling member of the National Guard, are we eligible for any assistance in this process? We've agreed to mediation, but are very frustrated, as while we feel for him, this is not something that we did, or could have, known. Thank you.

Jim's Reply:

I can't advise whether you need a lawyer or not as that is a very individual decision. You should do a personal risk assessment to decide whether you should lawyer up or not. If you are willing to take on the risk of losing over the long run, don't hire a lawyer. On the other hand if you feel like this could go south on you, retain an attorney.

Benefits for the military focus on military and veterans problems and you have what is a civilian issue. As an American citizen who is profiting from the sale of a home, you have every right to find and retain the best attorney in town.