Buying or Selling a Home/Misrepresentation


I recently purchased a townhome with a single car garage. The garage length is only 15 feet long and it was never disclosed that the garage would not fit a standard car. I believe that both the seller and her agent were deceptive and hoping that it would go unnoticed, which it did. The inspector did not inspect much of the garage due to the seller's belongings taking up most of the space. I would not have purchased this home had I realized I wouldn't be able to fit my own car in the garage. Do I have a case against the seller and/or her agent for misrepresentation? And is this something the inspector should have noted?

Hey, Michelle.

Although different states have different rules, I would think that regardless of which state you are in, the fact that the garage would not fit a standard car would be a material matter that could affect a buyer's decision to buy, as you state it would have yours.

It is not something that a home inspector would note since we don't do measurements and don't comment on whether or not something can be used for any specific purpose, including a garage which, it seems, should be able to be used to house a car.

However, I would think that an appraiser, who does take measurements, would have caught it.

Since most attorneys provide a free 30-60 minute initial consultation, if I were you, I would find the best real estate attorney in your area and discuss the matter with him.

Be sure to think about what remedy you are seeking. Do you want to return the house to the Seller and get all your money back? Do you want the Seller to pay to renovate the garage so that it will house a standard car, which the HOA might have a say in? Do you just want money to punish the Seller? A real estate attorney will help you with this since they know what options are more likely to be successful.

Good luck.


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Russel Ray


Through home inspections, I provide an education about real estate. I'm one of those rare home inspectors who has been involved in real estate in many different capacities: as a Realtor (in Texas), as a property investor/flipper, as a teacher, and as a marketing expert (for Realtors and home inspectors). I believe that my experience as a Realtor and property investor provides me with a different viewpoint about home inspections in that I work for my Clients, but when there are other people involved in helping my Clients, then I firmly believe in helping them, too. That includes Realtors (both the seller's and the buyer's), repair professionals (e.g., plumbers, electricians, etc.). If I can get all the players (seller, seller's Realtor, buyer, buyer's Realtor, and repair professionals) playing in the same sandbox together to accomplish goals as a TEAM (Together Everyone Accomplishes More), then I believe I have succeeded in my job as a home inspector. My profession is, in my opinion, much more than simply documenting the condition of a property and then take the money and run. I am also a rare breed in that I don't believe that one inspection fits the needs of all Clients, and I have led the industry in understanding that fact. For example, the goals of a property investor are far different than the goals of someone buying a property to live in. The goals of a seller (a pre-listing inspection) are far different than the goals of a buyer (a pre-purchase inspection). To that end, I offer 14 different types of inspections, e.g., STANDARD, LIST, RENTER, BASIC, MAINTENANCE, SPOT, and more. I believe in giving the benefit of the doubt to all professionals in whatever industry they represent until they prove me wrong.


Over 42 years in all aspects of real estate--building homes, renovating homes, inspecting homes, Realtor.

National Association of Certified Home Inspector, Better Business Bureau of San Diego

Graduate of Texas A&M University; College Station, Texas

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