We had the opportunity to sit down with attorney Rachel McKenna of Almanza, Blackburn, Dickie, & Mitchell LLP, who played a key role in successfully defending one of our sellers. Let’s dive into the details below:
In June 2020, the seller purchased Home Sale Legal Protection™, which protects sellers against any post-sale disputes. When a seller has Home Sale Legal Protection™ and they have any problems from the buyer after the sale of the home, including verbal threats, the seller can contact Sellers Shield and we jump into action. At the first sign of trouble, we hire an expert, local real estate attorney and pay their legal fees, up to the plan amount.
July 2020, they closed on their home sale and thought their journey as a seller had ended.
However, in August 2020 our seller received a demand letter from the buyer that accused the seller of failing to disclose a septic tank issue during the sale. Along with this accusation, the buyer demanded a $10,721 payment within 14 days. This was the first step in a dispute that would last for several years.
After the seller contacted Sellers Shield Customer Support Team, we processed and analyzed the details of the claim to find the best real estate attorney for their situation. Our goal is to assign the attorney within 24 to 48 hours, which includes the time for the attorney run conflict checks and confirm they can receive the claim. The team at Almanza, Blackburn, Dickie & Mitchell LLP quickly went to work, responding to the demand letter on behalf of the seller.
After months going back and forth, the buyer decided to escalate matters by filing a lawsuit in May 2021. The dispute continued to culminate from there, until the case was decided in the seller’s favor before a jury in September 2023.
This case has both common and uncommon issues that are experienced in a post-sale lawsuit. Let’s explore them below.
Common Issues in a Post-Sale Lawsuit
It’s common for buyers to have unrealistic expectations when purchasing their new home. They have certain beliefs about how the condition of the house should be and not how it actually is (and how it is actually disclosed). For most people, buying a home is the most expensive purchase they will make in their lifetime, so it makes sense that a buyer will have high expectations going into the transaction, even if they are unrealistic.
Another common aspect of this case is the length of time it took to resolve. As Rachel McKenna points out in the video, our legal system can be sluggish, with cases taking years to reach a decision, as was the situation with our seller here. And as the time on these cases pass, the legal bills associated with them keep on piling up. That’s why our Home Sale Legal Protection is so valuable to home sellers, providing up to $20,000 in legal protection and giving the seller the peace of mind that they don’t have to pay for the legal fees out of pocket.
Uncommon Issues in a Post-Sale Lawsuit
Rachel also highlighted an uncommon aspect of this case: the nearly year-long wait before filing a lawsuit. Normally if the buyer files a lawsuit, it is shortly after the initial demand letter. In this case, it wasn’t until much later that the buyer initiated the lawsuit. Even though the lawsuit came later than expected, the attorney Sellers Shield hired was still there to defend the seller.
In conclusion, the seller’s experience with selling their home was a rollercoaster. By purchasing Home Sale Legal Protection, this seller received expert legal protection that was there for them from the first demand letter, all the way until the trial ended.
Searching for a lawyer can be a frustrating, time-consuming, and costly experience.
This video shows what happens when a home seller is sued and is tasked with finding their own legal representation. If sued, a home seller will need to:
Sellers Shield takes on the burden of all this searching and paying so sellers don’t have to. If a seller has Home Sale Legal Protection™, they gain peace of mind even if a legal threat does occur:
A home sale lawsuit can cost an average of $15,000 in legal fees and can occur for any reason: from foundation issues to roof leaks. Fortunately, Sellers Shield helps protect both agents and sellers from home sale lawsuits, stopping most of our client’s disputes before they become full-blown lawsuits.