Buying Trouble

Would you consider it material that a building’s Condo Association had recently sued — and just recovered $500,000 from — the developer in connection with leaky windows in the building (located by Lake Calhoun)?

And that no sales had taken place for almost two years, while the lawsuit was pending?

I sure would — and I’m sure most Buyers would, too.

But I didn’t see so much as a mention of that fact in the Seller’s Disclosure for a 4th floor condo that’s currently on the market.


Prediction #1:  if and when the unit sells and the new owner inevitably learns the building’s history, they’re not going to be very happy with the former owner (and their Realtor, and their Realtor’s Broker).

Prediction #2:   if the new owner is on the hook for any especially large, future assessments in connection with the window issue, they’re going to look to their Seller et al to collect.

P.S.:  And don’t assume that a checkered building (or contractor) with a history of litigation will leave a public trail.  Legal settlements typically include confidentiality agreements barring plaintiffs from discussing it.

It’s also the case, especially with contractors, that they simply move on under another corporate name (cost:  $150).

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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