Listing broker sued over lot splitting

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Ann and William Manderville and their relatives Roseann and Rick Rinear sought to buy vacant land that could be subdivided to build two adjoining houses, one for each couple. Their buyer's agent, Marilyn Fowler, found a property in the MLS (multiple listing service) described as "all useable 2.62 acres county states 1 acre min. lot size could be split." Fowler telephoned the listing agent, Russ Clark, to confirm the lot could be split. He said it could. Two days later, the buyers offered to purchase the lot for $235,000. The sellers accepted. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. The purchase contract gave the buyers the right to investigate and inspect the property within 21 days. After the sale closed, the buyers learned from their civil engineer that the lot could not be split because the county had designated it "impact sensitive," requiring a four-acre minimum lot size. The buyers sued the listing broker for deceit (intentional misrepresentation). He pointed to the p...