ISSUE:

The sellers have lived in their home for forty years. They installed a new roof eight years before signing the Contract to sell their home. The sellers honestly believed that they had a “new roof,” and they made that statement to the listing broker. The listing broker put in the MLS “new roof.” One month after close of escrow there was a major storm, and the buyers had significant roof leaks. Major repairs to the roof are required. Does either the seller or the listing broker have any liability to the buyers?

ANSWER:

Probably both. Although the sellers had no intent to defraud, and believed that they were being honest, they did not act reasonably in representing that an eight-year-old roof was a “new roof.” The listing broker had an obligation to make reasonable efforts to confirm the sellers’ statement that there was a “new roof” before making that representation in the MLS. See ADRE Substantive Policy Statement No. 2005.13.