The property market in Washington state can be cutthroat, with competition stiffer than the average. As such, some sellers resort to making false or misleading statements to attract buyers. This is known as real estate misrepresentation, which can cause serious financial harm to the buyer.
The major types of real estate misrepresentation
Property misrepresentation can occur in various ways; however, the key differentiating factor is intent. For example, in innocent misrepresentation, the agent or broker may not have known that the statement was false or misleading. On the other hand, fraudulent misrepresentation involves an agent or broker knowingly making a false or misleading statement to induce a buyer into a transaction.
There’s also negligent misrepresentation. This can occur when the seller has been careless in making a statement without verifying its accuracy or failed to disclose material facts that would have affected the buyer’s decision.
How to deal with real estate misrepresentation
If you believe that you have been a victim of this fraud, you can pursue real estate litigation to seek compensation for any loss or damage caused by the misrepresentation. To make your case, you will need to demonstrate that:
1. The property was falsely represented
2. You relied on this representation in purchasing the property
3. You experienced damages as a result of the representation
4. The seller intended to deceive you or was negligent in making the statement
How to prevent real estate misrepresentation
One way to prevent this sort of deception is to hire a professional inspector who can check for any hidden problems or damages that may not be visible to the naked eye. You should also review all contracts and documents before you sign anything to ensure that there is no hidden language or conditions which could affect you later. Finally, it’s important to stay informed about the Washington state legal requirements for buying and selling real estate to know your rights and the required obligations in the transaction.
It’s always a good idea to approach investments or any deals in life with caution. Not everyone is trustworthy; in fact, most people will be looking for ways to exploit you. However, with a thorough understanding of the real estate market and its associated legal requirements, you can prevent significant damages.