Feb. 12, 2013
Dear George: A seller accepted my offer to purchase his home with an option to terminate. Two days before the end of my option period, I discovered undisclosed water damage in two rooms. I hired a contractor to inspect the property, but he couldn’t tell the extent of the damage. I decided to terminate the contract, and informed the seller’s agent the day after the option period expired. The seller claims that I must let him keep my earnest money. Do I have any recourse?
Answer: Once the option period expired, you no longer had the right to terminate the contract. However, you could pursue legal action against the seller to recover your earnest money, claiming the condition of the house was misrepresented. It would be an expensive fight, and you’ll need to hire an attorney.
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