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Lyman J. (Greg) Gregory, III



90 Southside Avenue,

Ste 100

Asheville, NC 28801

90 Southside Avenue Suite 100


90 Southside Avenue Suite 100

A Legal Moment

Sellers' Communications with Buyers


    In communicating with prospective purchasers of their property, sellers are not permitted to induce such prospective purchasers to forego investigation of the property.  In other words, when the parties deal at arms length, the rule very nearly remains “buyer beware.”  The one exception is when a seller speaks regarding the acreage of the property.  When a seller is incorrect in stating the acreage of property, he or she is more vulnerable to being held liable for misrepresentation.  Also, when sellers do voluntarily speak about their property, they must speak honestly, and sellers must be on guard not to conceal defects in the property.

    Here is an example of the rules in practice.  Knowing of wells going dry in the neighborhood, some prospective buyers asked a seller if her well provided adequate water.  The seller responded she always had plenty of water.  After closing, the buyers discovered the water supply was grossly inadequate.  The court held the seller did not commit fraud because the buyers knew of a potential problem, received a vague answer from the seller, and failed to investigate by even turning on a faucet during their inspection.

    I hope this information assists you in advising your seller clients.



Do not hesitate to contact me to receive more information on this topic or to suggest topics for future editions of 'A Legal Moment'. You may not rely on this content as legal advice for any specific situation, but should instead contact an attorney for specific advice.

Miller, Marshall, Roth , P.C. • 90 Southside Avenue Suite 100 • Asheville, NC 28801
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