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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55591
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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In Colorado, if I sign a contract to purchase a condo, and

Customer Question

In Colorado, if I sign a contract to purchase a condo, and before closing I discover the advertised square footage in the MLS listing is higher than the actual square footage, do I have the option of not going through with the purchase, and getting back my ernest money deposit? Thanks, Jerry
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Good morning Jerry. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

Can you provide me a bit more information? How much is the actual square footage and how much was it represented to be? Thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Richard, I have asked my agent to take measurements tomorrow, so I don't have an accurate measurement yet. So my question at this point would be hypothetical. The Sf in the listing is 1040, and is based on tax assessments. The unit was converted two years ago from commercial space, so I am concerned that the measurements may have been taken before the conversion to condo residential space. Anyhow, I have a rough estimate that may be lower than the 1040 advertised, possibly in the 900 range, but as I said, I don't as yet have proof yet. I should have something late tomorrow or Tuesday. Should we wait to address this? Thanks, Jerry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Roger, I just recieved the actual square footage for the condo, it is 885SF, vice the 1040 advertised in the listing. The condo is in Colorado. We don't want the condo given this misrepresentation, whether knowingly or not by the seller. We have singed a contract and some follow on documents. One was a document that said that we accept the fact that the 1040SF used in the listing came from the tax assessment. We signed still trusting that this number was accurate, and only a few days later decided we ought to check to be sure. Anyhow, any advise on our legal rights and appropriate next steps would be appreciated. I have alreay alerted my real estate agent who will notify the seller's agent about our concern and fact that we don't want to proceed if they are unable to prove the actual space matches the listing. Thanks, Jerry
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Richard, so sorry I got your name wrong on the last email. Jerry
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

No worries...Thanks for following up. Today was a travel day so I'm sorry for the delay in responding. Thanks for your patience.

Yes, this would be a material misrepresenatation...almost a 20% overstatement. Agreeing that this was based on tax assessment would allow for a minor deviation, but what you have is material and gives you the right to terminate without recourse to you....meaning you have the right to refund of your deposit. If the seller does not release it voluntarily, let him know you will be filing suit for its return and that if forced to file the suit, you will be asking not only for the full refund of the deposit, but also punitive damages due to the material misrepresentation and the willful bad faith in withholding your deposit. In my experience, that generally gets the seller to release the money because the seller does not want to risk the punitive damages. :)

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