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Posted by
John Peterson

Seller’s disclosure form and flooding

My wife and I recently purchased a house in Cypress that also has a barn and two shops. On the seller’s disclosure form, the seller checked the box stating non of the outbuildings flooded. During Harvey, the shops (outbuildings) took on about 28” of water and totaled 3 of my classic cars. I didn’t put them on blocks or do anything prior because they had stated the outbuildings didn’t flood. Since then, my neighbors have all told me they knew the shops or outbuildings flooded because they had in the past two storms.
Do I have any recourse against the seller? I would have made a lower offer or done something different with my cars had I known the shops flooded.

Thanks in advance for any help!

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Seller’s disclosure form and flooding

By John Peterson   
Posted on Oct 03, 2017 in Topic: General
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My wife and I recently purchased a house in Cypress that also has a barn and two shops. On the seller’s disclosure form, the seller checked the box stating non of the outbuildings flooded. During Harvey, the shops (outbuildings) took on about 28” of water and totaled 3 of my classic cars. I didn’t put them on blocks or do anything prior because they had stated the outbuildings didn’t flood. Since then, my neighbors have all told me they knew the shops or outbuildings flooded because they had in the past two storms.
Do I have any recourse against the seller? I would have made a lower offer or done something different with my cars had I known the shops flooded.

Thanks in advance for any help!
Status: Open
Viewed: 2033
Asked by: Consumer
Posted: 4 months ago
Topic: General
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Bronze
Arfacxad Cabrera
about 3 months ago
Yes, they failed clearly omitted vital information in the Seller's Disclosure and can be face with a law suit for doing so. It is best for you to talk to a Real Estate Lawyer who can give you some options for doing just that. Just make sure you still have that disclosure form as proof.


about 3 months ago
Bronze
Michael Joseph
about 3 months ago
Contact a lawyer to speak to them about failure to disclose known information in violation of Texas Buisness & Commerce Code 18.46 (b)(24), The DTPA IS FREQUENTLY used by buyers of residential properties claiming to have been the victim of deception, abuse, fraud, or other injury by real estate agents, sellers, or imspectors.


about 3 months ago
Silver
Michael Jobin
about 3 months ago
Hi John,

As others have said you should seek advice from a Real Estate Attorney. Just so you are prepared, know that unless the neighbors physically went into your barn while it was flooded in previous storms, and will testify to such, it may be considered hearsay. Also, Harvey is considered a 500 year flood so if the proof of previous floods is not available, a new flood will not be proof of an old flood and an intentional omission on the disclosure.

The broker in our office is also a RE Attorney. Below is a link to her info.

Michael Jobin
C&K Properties
713.545.2314


Source:


http://candkpropertieshouston.com/agents/kristi-neal/

about 3 months ago
Bronze
Amanda Crabtree
about 3 months ago
David Wilis at Lonestar Land is an exceptional real estate attorney. He can answer any questions you have. http://www.lonestarlandlaw.com/


about 3 months ago
Bronze
Yvonne Chauvin
about 3 months ago
I'm really sorry to hear about your classic cars. What a loss that must be. Harvey was definitely a doozey. Did you know that over 750,000 homes filed claims with FEMA already, and out of those 70% did not have any type of flood insurance, since they were not considered to be in a flood zone, nor flooded in the past?

IF your seller omitted the truth from disclosure, that's a serious mistake. Sellers are required to disclose all material facts about the property they're selling.

However, I am not sure how far you can go with what neighbors' say- unless they're willing to testify in person, or provide proof of previous flooding (i.e. pictures). As my colleagues have stated- it's best to seek advice of a real estate attorney.

Best of luck to you.


about 3 months ago
Gold
Dominik Szabo
about 3 months ago
Dear John,
Don't listen to any of the Realtor's advice or recommendations as given the seriousness of the situation this is a legal matter.
Find a real estate lawyer for yourself and talk to them as they are the most knowledgable people to talk to. If you don't know who to turn to contact the texas bar association who licenses al lawyers in Texas, they will put you in touch with the most able lawyers to solve your problems.


Dominik Szabo MBA
Brockway Realty
(832) 844 1724
DominikRealtor.com
The Doctor of Real Estate in Houston Texas
" Professional, Courteous, and Informed "


Source:


https://texasbar.com/

about 3 months ago
Bronze
Louisa Bonazza-Patak
about 3 months ago
The good news you have the Seller Disclosure stating no flooding. Please contact a real estate attorney for the best course of action and documentation needed. I am truly sorry for your loss.


about 3 months ago
Diamond
Darby Grimmett
about 3 months ago
John,

Please contact a real estate attorney regarding this situation re: non-disclosure.

Darby Grimmett, KW, 936-827-9217, darby@darbygrimmett.com


about 3 months ago
Gold
Ryan Kohn
about 2 months ago
Agreed, an attorney is where you should be asking this question. Realtors can not provide legal advise.

With that said, sellers disclosure is a statement of conditions and defects to the sellers knowledge. You would need to prove the sellers had knowledge of previous flooding. So if your neighbors have lived there for 30 Years, the last time it flood 5 years ago and the sellers have only lived there for 3, it may be difficult to prove the sellers had knowledge of previous flooding.

Again, ask an attorney, the above example is only an example of what the sellers disclosure is.

My preferred real estate attorney is Allan Davis. adavis@adavislaw.com 713-816-4695


about 2 months ago
Gold
Cagdas Acar
about 2 months ago
Dear John,
Deeply sorry for your loss. It will not be appropriate for us to offer you legal or engineering advice. You need to seek attorney assistance.

I will share some parts of the recent article by Dr Charles Porter and Gary Pate in Texas Realtors Magazine that is relevant to your case.

"Your Realtor should have advised you to inquire about the flood zone: Your agent should have you determine if the property is situated in a flood zone and to check on the availability of flood insurance. The seller's disclosure notice is not the real estate agent's disclosure but the seller's disclosure. While you may provide the form and answer questions about it, you should not complete the form for a seller. Stress to sellers the importance of answering the questions honestly and thoroughly. It is hard to imaine a seller harmed by over disclosure. Members of the Texas Association of REALTORS have exclusive access to the Seller's Disclosure Notice, which has options to disclose information about a property's flooding history, including whether there has been flooding and if there is a present flood insurance coverage The agents are still responsible even though the disclosure is not filled by them for the obvious/known facts; For your case multiple floods in home and surrounding buildings. The Texas Real Estate License Act, Chapter 1101, Texas Occupations Code, section 1101.652(b0 (1-4) are germane to agent' behavior related to the disclosure of flooding. Specifically, agents are required to disclose to a potential buyer "a significant defect, including a latent structural defect, known to the license holder that would be a significant factor to a reasonable and prudent buyer in making a decision to purchase real property"

Hope you will get compensated for your losses.

Regards,

Cagdas Acar
Msc PSA Realtor@
Keller Williams Signature
Website: http://cagdasacar.kw.com
Email: acarster@gmail.com
Mobile: 8322381091


Source:


TEXAS Realtor Magazine, November 2017

about 2 months ago
Silver
Christopher Dayanand
about 2 months ago
Hello John,

There is a reason why it is called seller disclosure. A buyer makes judgement call based on what has been disclosed. When few things are omitted, it will come and bite them eventually. I am curious to get an update. Please provide one when you get a chance.

Thanks

Chris
Coldwell Bankers
832.859.8698


about 2 months ago
Disclaimer: Answers provided are just opinions and should not be accepted as advice.
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