Yes a home can be sold, even if the tax assessor data does not match the current size or configuration of the home. Often homeowners will make changes over the years that are not shown in public records. Your agent should be able to provide information or refer you to other professionals to help you determine if the discrepancies are significant and might be cause for concern. As some of the other responses indicate, it is the buyer's responsibility to have inspections performed and read the property disclosures, so they are well-informed about the home they purchase.
Real Estate West (310) 308-8778.
The home can certainly be sold but you might be a bit wary if you get the sense that information is either being withheld or misleading. It is always the responsibility of the buyer to verify details, dimensions, home and lot sizes if they are concerned that it might not be as advertised, but it is also the sellers responsibility to disclose anything known that might impact the material value. Can you elaborate at all on the discrepancies?
Often time there is some information that the county never changed in the public records and even with new construction some of the public records are often inaccurate. Overall it's not very uncommon for the records to be slightly different from the reality, but you should always investigate the reasons as some may be due to unpermitted work or details that are simply inaccurate.
Let me know if you have any questions.
#1 Listing and Selling Agent
Keller Williams Westside
It almost sounds as though you're getting information on another home. We often see situations in which the sellers have added a bathroom, whether with permits or without, or turned a dining room into a 3rd bedroom etc...somtimes even two small bedrooms are converted into one larger one, but I've never heard of a homeowner that had 3 bathrooms removing 2 of them. That doesn't make any sense and seems as though the home you're looking at and the county information are just mixed up. You would certainly want to investigate further and ask the listing agent or owners if they have any idea why there is the discrepancy. If unpermitted work was done the city can try to order the work be corrected or retroactively permitted, but again this sounds like a situation in which the records are wrong. I would advise you go to the city of Manhattan Beach planning department and ask to see the file on the home and see if there is anything that might shed some light on the situation.
This happens quite often. Some of the reasons would be:
1. Public records not yet updated for recent improvements and additions.
2. Improvements and additions done without permits.
3. A simple mistake.
You need to determine the cause of the discrepancy and then evaluate the risk. Checking with the building department, having the home inspected, and going over the differences with a licensed contractor are some of the ways you can find answers and protect yourself.
Remember, unpermitted additions could cause problems. You may have difficulty obtaining insurance or getting paid on a claim if the loss is related to the unpermitted work. The value of the additional space or rooms will not be included in the appraisal. And then to add insult to injury the city may require that you retro-permit or tear out the unpermitted work when and if you ever need to obtain a building permit.
Do your due diligence and then make your decision based on full knowledge and disclosure. Dare to Dream.
Shel-lee Davis, CDPE, SFR, QSC
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty