Clearly I didn't perform due diligence here...although the Control Map and Parcel number were listed correctly, and a surveyor re-walked the property (a vacant lot, ~1 acre in size) & provided me a copy before closing, I only walked the neighboring lot, under the impression that it was the one, since the realtor's sign was ~100 yards away from the correct one.

Moreover, the lot I purchased has overhead power lines running straight through the middle of the property, and their regulations (as a subsidiary of a federal utility Authority) state that easements are 15' to either side of the lines...rendering my new lot practically useless for building a residence.

When I first saw the lot listing on Redfin, there was not a mention of power lines in the description. When I used Street View on Google Maps at the front edge of where it showed the lot boundary, there was indeed power lines. So I called the realtor and asked, to which she replied "not that I'm aware of."

It's worth mentioning that this is in a fairly-rural area, and people I've talked with who live nearby have said that they ran into confusing aspects of where their actual lot was as well. Also, a person who has a house on the lot behind mine stated that the requirements for a building permit from the county have recently changed for that area, due to more frequent rockslides.

We closed on this lot less than 30 days ago. Would it be useful to file a formal rescission? Or, do I have any valid basis to sue


2 Answers 2


In 1998, over half of the suits against brokers were for "misrepresentation." Misrepresentation occurs when the the buyer relies on some material representation by the agent that turns out to be false. Misrepresentations can unintended, negligent or fraudulent.

In Lee v Bielefeld, the Court sided with a buyer who was mislead by a real estate agent who pointed out the wrong lot, which had a (misplaced) "For Sale" sign. In LaCourse v. Kiesel, a seller had to rescind a sale at auction because the flyer for the auction gave the wrong information about the zoning on the property.

Whether you have a case depends on whether the location of the sign is enough to overcome your failure to "perform due diligence" under your state's law. Only real estate lawyer can say for sure.


A lawsuit to invalidate the sale is possible if the seller materially misrepresented the facts in the written contract, and not otherwise. In the written contract, there will be an "Entire Agreement" clause that says that the written contract is the entire agreement. There is no necessary misrepresentation in the agent claiming to be unaware of power lines. Unless you have good evidence to the contrary, what is written in the contract is "what you bought", it simply didn't match your expectations. Even without an "Entire Agreement" clause, you'd have to show that the agent actually knew of the power lines and lied when you asked. Placing a "for sale" sign on an adjacent lot does not assert "this sign is on the lot that is for sale", so that would not be a basis for invalidating the sale.

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