So I represented some buyers in a purchase a few years back, a home in one of Charlotte's toniest neighborhoods. You know the kind-where the homeowners often trade homes without them ever hitting the open market-and where the busybodies know EVERYTHING.
It had a basement. A rarity in the Charlotte area. Unfinished, it was serving as a workshop, and was a walk-out to the backyard.
We were in the middle of a 4-year drought. (do you see where we're going here?)
The seller said he had NEVER had a moisture problem in the basement, no mold, no mildew, and certainly no flooding! The inspection went well, no moisture problems detected (again, we're in year 3 of a 4 year drought, so everything was dry, dry, dry).
The buyers bought the house, everyone was happy.
Almost a year later, the rains came.
And the basement, well, it flooded!!
My buyers were down there with buckets trying to get it under control. Because buddy, it was pouring. Record rains in that month. The next-door neighbor strolled over, seeing them working so hard, and said:
"You mean Tom never got that moisture problem fixed?"
Well, this was quite interesting. Tom was still maintaining that the basement had never flooded in his 30 years in the house, but the neighbor begged to differ! One attorney's letter later and one witness firmly supporting my clients, and Tom paid for the professional waterproofing job to be completed on that house. To the tune of some $6000.
Moral of the story? Don't lie on your seller disclosures. Someone somewhere might just know the truth and be willing to stand up on behalf of the folks you lied to...see, that neighbor had more to gain from supporting his new neighbors instead of the one who had moved away. You might think you won't get caught, but it just about always bears out in the end.