Real Property Law

Cal. Real. Prop. Journal 2016, VOL. 34, NO. 2,

Defending Buyer Nondisclosure and Misrepresentation Claims in Real Property Transactions

Paul P. DeAngelis

Paul DeAngelis, www.ppdlaw.com, has his own firm in San Francisco. Paul concentrates on real estate matters, including litigating buyer and seller disputes arising from purchase and sale transactions, neighbor and HOA disputes, and broker defense issues. He also provides transaction and counseling services to buyers and sellers in transactions, to property owners to resolve neighbor and HOA disputes, and to brokers and agents regarding risk management and BRE compliance issues.

I. INTRODUCTION

This article discusses the law and arguments to consider when defending buyer claims of nondisclosure and misrepresentation arising from the purchase and sale of residential real property with a focused analysis on the element of buyer’s reliance.1 This article addresses developing defenses, whether considered by sellers or real estate brokers,2 for common sources of these claims: repairs, improvements, permits, legal use, or deed restrictions. It also offers suggestions for how sellers could mitigate the risks of such claims, including how to disclose material facts to buyers without making conclusions about their effect on value.

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