Profile picture for user3535108

The sellers agent didn't disclose she was their mother. Should she have?

The agent that was selling the house I bought didn't tell us she was the sellers mother. Should she have told our agent and us? Come to find out she also lied on the home disclosure about the age of our roof and now it needs to be replaced and it hasn't even been a year since we bought it.
  • September 08 2013 - US
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Answers (11)

Most states have a requirement for an agent to disclose a "personal interest" in the property. It is a required addendum in Florida and required for situations like this one where family members are involved..

the roof is another issue.
ask yourself-- did you really have a thorough inspection or just a quick browsing? why did it fail? mother nature? termites? 

all the answers so far are probably pointing you to get some professional legal advice.. best of luck..
  • September 10 2013
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I'm unaware which state you purchased the property, however in most states it is required that you disclosure  to other parties in the transaction if you are representing a family member.  So, unless your state has different guidelines it should have been disclosed immediately to you and your agent.  About the roof, if the seller knew about the roof conditions and mislead you about the age and condition of the roof, you could have a claim against her.  But you would have to prove that she knew and intentionally withheld that information.  Hope that helps. 
  • September 10 2013
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Profile picture for RealEstateCrew
Check with you agent on what this states requirements are. 
  • September 09 2013
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
I had a roof that was 3 years old when the seller sold, that failed within 1 year of buying due to wind conditions and "improper installation".  I corrected the installation problem myself and haven't had a problem with it since for decades.

The "age" of the roof is not the critical factor.  And even a home inspector is unlikely to point out such installation issues.  However, the inspector "should" have noticed that there was prior "repair" on the roof due to similar wind loading conditions.  It was not on the inspection report, and the "repair" was not the way I would have done it.
  • September 09 2013
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The requirement to disclose relationships vary by state, 353x.

The roof failure seems much more important, and I think an attorney can advise you better than we can. I would want to know when the roof was actually installed, and while the listing agent may be able to come up with a receipt, I have a strong feeling that she's not going to feel especially cooperative.

However, if you feel you can talk to her without the conversation degrading into a finger-pointing session, you might just call and ask her if she has a copy of the roof warranty. Or ask your agent to call.

All the best,
  • September 08 2013
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Profile picture for Amy Gutschow
I don't know what the laws by you are but in WI we disclose a relationship.  That seems to be a different situation than the roof though.
  • September 08 2013
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
How did the fact that the agent was the seller's mother make a difference in the transaction for you?  What would you have done differently? 

What did the inspector say about the roof when you were in the purchase process for the home?    A seller (not the agent) only has to say what they know on the disclosure form, they are not required to get inspections of everything before filling out the disclosure.  If I were selling my  home today, I would say that I don't know what the roof age is and that there is nothing wrong it it.  I might say something different today.

Homeownership has financial implications for maintenance.   Some of them are big ticket, welcome to home ownership.


  • September 08 2013
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Yes, The agent should have disclosed the relationship.On the seller real property disclosure, did they mention anything wrong with the roof? Did you have a home inspection? Did you have the roof inspected? 
  • September 08 2013
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Profile picture for Ofe Polack
In NH agents have to disclose if there is a relationship to either buyer or seller. I do not know that this relationship would have changed anything in your situation.
Regarding the age of the roof, it would have been your responsibility to find out through the home inspection, the condition of the roof. The property disclosure is not written by the listing agent, but by the seller, to the best of their knowledge.   If you want to blame anybody for the fact that you have to replace the roof and you did not know anything about it, call the company who did the home inspection, that is,  after you read what comments they made on the home inspection report about the roof.
  • September 08 2013
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The disclosure should have been made and most real estate associations require it, but in all honesty would it have changed anything really?

You had a chance to have had an inspection. Did your inspector note any damage or age? They don't usually see any of the disclosures in an offer so they would have, or should have, inspected the roof no matter if it was 1 year old or 20 years old on the disclosure. Things break and there is no one that can predict when it will happen.
  • September 08 2013
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I don't know if there are laws relating to disclosure, but most real estate associations require disclosures that state 'agent is related to seller'. Often the disclosure is on the agent portal of the MLS listing and not on the public side.

As to sellers disclosure, sellers disclose 'to the best of their knowledge'. If you could prove that the seller knowingly deceived you as to the age of the roof (as opposed to what many sellers do which is to guess to the age of the roof) then you could sue them in small claims court or (if you signed arbitration) go through an arbitrator. But you would need to have proof that the sellers knowingly and willfully deceived you on the age of the roof. Even then, the buyer bears some responsibility by having an  home inspection. Often an inspector can tell you how much life is left in a roof (irrespective of its chronological age).
  • September 08 2013
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