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Flipper Investment Mistake Turns Into Disaster

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

A Maryland couple purchased a property to flip in the Pittsburgh area.  The sales agreement said “as-is, where is” subject to all liens, diseases, warts and infections.  The price was right.  No title search, no due diligence.  After the deal closed, the flippers learned that the house had previously been placed on a list for demolition by the local municipality.  They tried in vain to fix the place up, plowing an additional $10,000 into the property but it wasn’t enough to satisfy the city.  The house was torn down.

This couple could have avoided all of these problems by hiring an attorney to do a title search and examination.  The municipal violations would have been uncovered and they could have avoided the deal or negotiated in advance with the municipality.  All at a negligible cost.

How did this turn out for our flippers?  Well they’re understandably upset and their options aren’t great.  Sue the seller for fraud?  Good luck finding the Nevada LLC seller or collecting if successful.  Sue the city for its decision to demolish?  Expensive and even less likely to succeed.  They are stuck with a vacant lot and a demolition bill.  This deal was a total loss but it didn’t have to be that way.

Our real estate attorneys, Michael E. Fiffik being one, represent buyers, sellers, investors, landlords and tenants in a variety of residential and commercial real estate matters.

Find our real estate page here.

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