Successful defense of real estate agency and its agents.
The agents/agency represented the buyer/plaintiff in his purchase of a home in Dauphin County. The plaintiff claimed the agents failed to disclose to him prior to settlement that there were alleged defects in the A/C system and heat pump, and that the roof was old and needed to be replaced. The plaintiff paid for a home inspection report of the property, which noted the age and condition of the A/C, heat pump and roof, but the plaintiff claimed he never received the report, even though he discussed the report with one of the agents and authorized the agent to reply to the report on his behalf. The reply specifically asked the sellers to make repairs to the roof. As part of the defense, we argued that the plaintiff’s claims were barred by the release language in the agreement of sale, which specifically stated that the plaintiff agreed to release the agency and its agents from claims relating to any defects or conditions on the property, and that the release by its terms survived settlement. In addition, we argued that the plaintiff waived his claims, at least as to the costs to replace the A/C and heat pump, when he declined in writing a home warranty plan that was offered to him prior to settlement by the agents. By signing the home warranty application form stating he was declining the plan, the plaintiff agreed in writing not to hold the agency and agents liable for the repair or replacement of a system that would otherwise have been covered by the plan. We introduced testimony that that the A/C and heat pump would have been covered if they did need to be repaired or replaced. The court found for the agency and agents and entered judgment in their favor.