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CONTRACTS 6: Do you understand the clauses in your Purchase Agreement?

This case arises out of plaintiff’s purchase of a personal residence from defendants (sellers) in 2016. Sellers had completed a Seller’s Disclosure Statement (SDS) on August 8, 2015, which they had updated on December 30, 2015. Pertinent to the issues here, the SDS indicated that the house had a geothermal heating system that was in working order. Further, the SDS indicated that there were features of the property deemed in common with the adjoining landowners, including roads, whose use or responsibility for maintenance may have an effect on the property.

In May 2016, plaintiff and sellers executed a purchase agreement for the sale of the subject property. Defendant W, an independent agent with Keller Williams Realty, represented sellers in the transaction.

Pertinent to this appeal, the purchase agreement contained an “as-is-condition” clause, providing:

AS IS CONDITION: Purchaser acknowledges that Seller has provided Purchaser a required Seller’s Disclosure Statement. Purchaser has been afforded an independent inspection of the property and the Purchaser affirms that Purchaser has examined the above described property and is satisfied with the physical condition of the structure thereon and purchases said property in an “AS IS CONDITION,” subject only to the rights of a property inspection.

It is further agreed that Keller Williams Realty and its agents have made no representations or warranties of any kind nor assume any responsibility for representations made by Seller or any cooperating broker pertaining to the condition of the property. The purchase agreement also contained an arbitration clause.

In December 2016, several months after the closing, the geothermal furnace allegedly failed. Plaintiff maintained that he was informed that it was necessary to replace the unit

On March 23, 2018, plaintiff initiated the instant action by filing a complaint. The complaint alleged that before execution of the purchase agreement, defendants knowingly made representations attesting to the proper working condition of the property’s geothermal heating system, even though defendants knew that these representations were false and that the furnace was broken or showed signs of potential breakdown. The complaint further alleged that sellers omitted facts regarding ownership of the private road and its condition.

Plaintiff sought to void the purchase agreement on this basis and requested damages equal to the purchase price, the mortgage payments he had made on the home, and the cost of repairing the private road.

On May 2, 2018, in lieu of filing an answer, defendants moved for summary disposition pursuant to MCR 2.116(C)(7), (8), and (10). The trial court granted defendants’ motion for summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(7), concluding that the claims against the realty companies were barred by the valid release contained in the purchase agreement and that the claims against sellers were required to be resolved in arbitration because they fell within the scope of the arbitration clause in the purchase agreement.

Finding the right attorney to assist with the purchase, sale or acquisition of real estate is critical.

Whether you are buying or selling a home or you are involved in a commercial real estate transaction, an experienced real estate attorney can make a world of difference.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

FAMILY LAW 41: To minimize disruptive changes in children’s custody, moving party must establish cause or a change of circumstance.

To minimize unwarranted and disruptive changes in children’s custody, a trial court may only modify children’s custody if the moving party first establishes a proper cause or a change of circumstances. The purpose of this framework is to erect a barrier against removal of a child from an established custodial environment and to minimize unwarranted and disruptive changes of custody orders.

DIVORCE 35: Proceeds received by one spouse in a personal injury lawsuit are generally considered separate property.

Proceeds received by one spouse in a personal injury lawsuit meant to compensate for pain and suffering, as opposed to lost wages, are generally considered separate property. Moreover, separate assets may lose their character as separate property and transform into marital property if they are commingled with marital assets and treated by the parties as marital property.

4 Common Real Estate Disputes to Watch Out For

Creating a mutually beneficial real estate deal usually goes through smoothly with both sides presenting their interests then negotiating toward a middle ground they can both agree to uphold. Unfortunately, not all deals go through without an issue....

REAL ESTATE 44: Rule of acquiescence in boundary disputes.

The doctrine of acquiescence provides that, where adjoining property owners acquiesce to a boundary line for a period of at least fifteen years, that line becomes the actual boundary line. The underlying reason for the rule of acquiescence is the promotion of peaceful resolution of boundary disputes.

FAMILY LAW 37: Referee recommended against changing legal custody or parenting time.

Plaintiff requested sole legal custody, arguing that she and defendant had difficulty co-parenting and that defendant would not agree to medical treatment for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, need for orthodontic work, and need for vision testing and glasses. Plaintiff also requested an alternating weekly or biweekly schedule during the summer, which would increase her overall parenting time.

REAL ESTATE 40: Tax Tribunal denied petitioner’s claim of a principal residence exemption (PRE).

MCL 211.7cc(2) provides that an owner of property can claim the PRE by filing an affidavit that must state that the property is owned and occupied as a principal residence by that owner of the property on the date that the affidavit is signed and shall state that the owner has not claimed a substantially similar exemption, deduction, or credit on property in another state.

The Steps of Construction Litigation

Most contracting agreements move forward without any problems, but when disputes between contracting parties come up, it can be confusing to understand the legal process to take. The legal experts at Aldrich Legal Services want to make the...

REAL ESTATE 38: Plaintiff fails to make land contract payments.

The land contract stated that T Company sold real property to plaintiff. The land contract further stated that if plaintiff failed to make a monthly payment, T Company could execute the quitclaim deed, thereby terminating plaintiff’s rights to the real property under the land contract.

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