Why settle for a lemon of a house?

Barry & Helwig, LLC

When you can make lemonade

Barry & Helwig, LLC

wet basement?

Barry & Helwig, LLC

Faulty furnace?

Barry & Helwig, LLC

mice or vermin?

Barry & Helwig, LLC

defective appliance?

Barry & Helwig, LLC

boundary dispute?

Barry & Helwig, LLC

Prior Flood Damage?

Barry & Helwig, LLC

Repairs without a permit?

Barry & Helwig, LLC

Undetected Storm Damage?

Barry & Helwig, LLC

If you bought a home with problems hidden by the seller, call us today.

Barry & Helwig, LLC - 612-379-8800

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  • Bought A Home With Hidden Defects?

  • Sold A Home And Now In A Dispute With The Buyer?

We Can Help.

The Law: Sellers Must Disclose Defects In Writing

No house is perfect, but home sellers must disclose a house’s defects in writing before they sell you a house:

  • Minnesota law sets forth the disclosure requirement for sellers of residential real estate.
  • Minnesota Statute 513.55, Subd. 1, requires that before a seller signs an agreement to sell or transfer residential real property, that seller must make a written disclosure to the prospective buyer of the property’s defects.
  • The disclosure must include all material facts of which the seller is aware of that could adversely and significantly affect an ordinary buyer’s use and enjoyment of the property, or affect any intended use of the property of which the seller is aware.
  • The written disclosure must be made in good faith and based upon the best of the seller’s knowledge at the time of the disclosure.
  • While there is no statutorily required disclosure form, many sellers often use a “Seller’s Disclosure Statement” from which was drafted and approved by the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®.
  • If a seller fails to disclose a known adverse condition, the seller is liable for any resulting harm.
  • Under Minnesota law, it’s not enough that the seller simply was negligent in failing to disclose a defect. 
  • The seller must essentially know that failing to disclose the defect was wrongful.  In other words, the seller generally has to to have known about the defect and then hidden it from the buyer.
  • To prove damages, MInnesota follows a thing called the “out of pocket” rule, meaning that damages are the difference between the price paid for a home and its actual market value.

What all of this means legally is pretty complicated.  Often, buyers and sellers fight over the meaning of whether a condition “adversely affects enjoyment” or whether a defect was known.  That’s where a good lawyer comes in handy.  If you’re in a fight over a home purchase, don’t go it alone.  Call us today at 612-379-8800.

What kind of clients do you work with?

We represent buyers and sellers of residential real estate in disputes over undisclosed defects in newly purchased homes.  Typically, our clients are facing these kinds of issues:

  • Bought a home with undisclosed water problems or mold issues
  • Bought a home with defective appliances, furnaces, or water heaters
  • Sold a home to a buyer who is now claiming there is defective plumbing or heating
  • Sold a home to a buyer who is now claiming there are problems with roofing or concrete
  • Buyer has filed a Demand for Arbitration under the purchase agreement for the home
  • Buyer has served a lawsuit claiming that a seller failed to make proper disclosures

No matter which side of the fence you’re on, you need strong, competent legal help.  If you’re a buyer, you may be entitled to compensation if a seller failed to disclosure material conditions that affect your enjoyment of your new home. If you’re a seller, a buyer can make a claim in court or arbitration against you if they believe you failed to disclose an important fact about your home before you sold it.  Minnesota real estate law on home defects is complex and potentially very adversarial.  These claims can quickly spiral into thousands of dollars for both parties. No matter which side of the transaction you’re on–buyer or seller–we can help you navigate these treacherous legal waters.  Call us today to speak with an attorney about matter.   612-379-8800.

How do you get paid your fees?

We work on an hourly basis for residential real estate disputes, whether in suit or in arbitration.  We want to make things right for you and with more than 25 years of combined litigation experience, you can be assured we’ll do our very best legal work for you.   Call us at 612-379-8800 to discuss terms.

How long will my case take?

Every case is different.  Some settle quickly, some last for a longer.  Generally speaking, one year from filing-to-finish is a good estimate for how long a court case takes.  If the case is filed in arbitration, a 4-6 months is a good estimate.  We here to speak at 612-379-8800.

What can I do to make my case successful?

Immediately document every communication you have with any real estate agent who was involved in the transaction, the other party who bought your home or sold you the home, and any insurance person involved if there has been damage to the property, whether by letter, by phone or by message. Make detailed notes of any conversations you have with anyone during conversations. Don’t throw away or write on any papers involved in the sale or purchase of the home.  Keep all papers including your originals, in a safe, dry place.  Don’t make any admissions about wrongdoing to the other party.  The less said the better until our office has a chance to evaluate your legal position.  Call us at 612-379-8800.

Contact Us Now

Truth

Home sellers cannot lie, mislead, or make false statements to about the material conditions of a home that they sell.  They must be truthful and they must disclose all known defects in writing to the prospective buyers.  Generally, the seller prepares and signs a “Sellers Property Disclosure Statement” that is provided to potential buyers in order to fully disclose all known defects to a property.

Disclosure

Home sellers must make written disclosures to prospective buyers about any material defects which would affect the enjoyment of the property.  No home is perfect, but if the defect is material–that is, if the defect affects the value, use, or enjoyment of the property–it must be disclosed in writing to the purchasers before the home is sold.

Arbitration

Arbitration is a less formal way of resolving disputes between home buyers and sellers.  Oftentimes, buyers and sellers voluntarily agree to arbitrate disputes at the time a home is sold.  Arbitration rules are different than regular court rules and there are no juries.  The arbitration typically take place in the buyer’s home.

Experience

We have more than 25 years of combined federal consumer rights litigation experience.  There is no tougher place in the world to litigate than in United States Federal District Court.  You'll be glad that your lawyers have both the knowledge of the Court, and the success to back it up.

Innovation

We've trained lawyers all over the country on how to sue debt collectors and robo callers.  We gather all of the best ideas from our legal seminars and bring them back to our law practice.  Because we've taught thousands of lawyers in all 50 States, our reputation is second-to-none.

Technology

We run an all digital, paperless, law office.  We can instantly access any document that has ever been created in your legal file from the secure cloud.  Quickly and efficiently.  Paper is scanned, optically-character-recognized and fully word searchable.  That makes us effective for you and tough for our opponents.

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Communication

As consumer lawyers, we pride ourselves in answering our own phone calls and emails.  If we're available to talk, we will talk.  Email is always a great way for you to reach us and we make every effort to get back to you in 24 hours or less.  We don't avoid clients.  We serve them.