Q: My husband and I have a contract on a house. During final walk-through, we discovered the swimming pool has a major leak.

We informed the sellers and were told the pool installer would fix it.

I know this cannot be true – the pool is no longer under warranty. It is over 10 years old. On the buyers’ disclosure we were told the pool was in working condition. It is not. The pool pump can not even work properly because the pool is losing that much water.

The sellers will not sign off on our earnest money at the title company. They say we are in breach of contract. How can we be in breach when we were misled about a costly pool repair?

Please advise what action we should take as our Realtor has no advice. Thank you so much for your help.

A: You must hire a real estate attorney to help guide you through your legal options. A lot of what you can do depends on what the contract says, and what your state’s seller disclosure laws require.

Because it appears that the sellers were not entirely truthful on their seller disclosure form, you may be able to sue them if they will not return your earnest money.

Sept. 12, 2006.