Mauro v. Mooney. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-16-0362, 12 pp.) (Wanda G. Bryant, J.) Appealed from Henderson County Superior Court. (Dennis J. Winner, J.) N.C. App. Unpub. Click here for the full text of the opinion.
Holding: Even though the plaintiff-buyers contend the defendant-seller committed fraud and negligent misrepresentation as to the age of the house, renovations, structural deficiencies, subflooring, and garage plumbing, given the lack of inducement to rely on the seller to the exclusion of plaintiffs’ own reasonable investigation and the relatively brief review plaintiffs gave to a house they intended to purchase, the seller was entitled to summary judgment.
We affirm summary judgment for the seller, the real estate agent, and her agency.
All of the buyers’ claims on appeal are grounded in actions for deceit. The buyers argue that their real estate agent misrepresented the age of the house, the sufficiency of the septic system to serve a four-bedroom home, the adequacy of the flooring to support hardwood floors, the existence of plumbing in the garage area, and the applicability of the city zoning ordinances to the house. However, there is no indication that the agent, her agency, or the seller induced the buyers to forego their own reasonable investigation.
Moreover, the record indicates that plaintiff Joseph Mauro said he previously had a general contracting business in Texas that built single-family homes, and that he accompanied the home inspector on the inspection of the house prior to purchase.
Given the lack of inducement to rely on the agent, her agency, or the seller to the exclusion of the buyers’ own reasonable investigation, and the relatively brief review (they first saw the house on April 20, 2007, offered to buy it on April 27, 2007, accompanied the inspector and closed on the purchase on May 4, 2007) the buyers gave to a house they intended to purchase for $1.3 million, there was sufficient evidence to support summary judgment.