Matthew O. Riddle and Gaillard T. Dotterer, III recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of their clients, a residential real estate agent and brokerage. The Plaintiff home buyers alleged that the sellers’ agent and brokerage knew or should have known of latent defective conditions on the property, and did not disclose these conditions to the Plaintiffs before closing. The sellers had originally purchased the property out of foreclosure. They made certain repairs, renovations, and upgrades with the assistance of a building contractor. The sellers then listed the property and sold it to the Plaintiffs. The same agent represented the sellers in their original purchase of the home and when they listed it, but the agent was not involved at all in the sellers’ renovations to the home.
The court found that there was no evidence to support the Plaintiffs’ claims against the listing agent for negligent misrepresentation and violation of the South Carolina Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act. Specifically, the court concluded that the Plaintiffs failed to demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the agent made a false representation or breached any duty owed to the Plaintiffs, and as to whether the Plaintiffs justifiably relied on any alleged representation of the listing agent. The court also concluded that, because the Plaintiffs’ negligent misrepresentation claim failed, their claim under the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act also failed as a matter of law, despite alleged inaccuracies in a condition disclosure statement completed by the sellers. The Plaintiffs were seeking damages in excess of $400,000.00.