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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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Is this real

Customer Question

is this real
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
question about mis-representation of square footage by listing agent, appraiser, and buyers agent. In a mixed condo and SFR neighborhood that is about 10 to 14 year old depending on section. I bought a condo and relied on listing agent and appraiser square footage, which I later found out to be based on outside perimeter dimensions. However, the homes listed in this area exclusively, or near exclusively, use the original "builders inside area" sq footage. This home was listed with a generously measured outside measurement. They did comps with the outside measure on my home to homes with inside square footage. When negotiating price the listing agent told us on "price per square foot basis" the house is fairly priced in her opinion. However, that is not a fair comparison. If you use equal techniques of square footage it was not so reasonable. My buyers agent didn't point this out to me. The appraisal came back at the high outside measurement footage, and I have the report. She used the homes with inside square footage for comp analysis for my FHA loan. I do like the home, however, I don't like that this happened to me. I think this was unethical and for my agent, lack of fiduciary.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If they misrepresented the square footage, this is grounds to sue for breach of contract and seek to cancel the sale or to reduce the purchase price based on the reduced actual square footage. Your agent and the seller would be jointly liable to you for the misrepresentation of the square footage. You can also report your agent to the state real estate commission and they can remove or suspend the agent's license for this type of misrepresentation.
You need to start by making a written demand on the seller and your agent demanding either to cancel the contract or reduce your purchase price. Tell them failure to do so will result in you filing a complaint with the real estate board and also suing for their breach of contract and misrepresentation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The sale closed last week. so your advice seems to apply to before closing.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
No, actually, my information applies before or after sale. So even though you closed, they are in breach of contract based on misrepresentation and you can still seek to either cancel the contract and obtain a full refund or seek at least an adjustment to the contract price based on the correct square footage and if they refuse, you can still sue for breach of contract.