Is it a deceptive practice in an attempt to generate more interest and showings for the seller? Yes.
Should there be better policing and a more effective "check and balance" for this? Yes.
Does it change the fact that a buyer and their agent should be double-checking all the details themselves - and would have absolutely no excuse for getting "ripped" off or paying 3000 square foot prices for a 1500 square foot home? Absolutely not.
A buyer/agent should always be checking the public records for a more accurate picture of square footage, and other details such as school district etc. If you are simply "taking a listing agent's word" for critical details of a property, without doing an due dillegence of your own, you are setting yourself up for a big mess.
What does the last line on the MLS BUYER REPORT for a home state?
How much more clarity is needed?
If you are getting your data from sources other than the MLS, such as Trulia, (which means you don't know what the last line states) you need to know, that data appearing on aggregate real estate websites like Trulia and Zillow DOES NOT come from the MLS and is therefore NOT the responsibility of the real estate agent. These sites can alter, change, subsitute, supress and replace data to suit their purpose.
If you are serious, you need to use serious tools, you know of tools that have accruate, reliable, timely, comprehensive and relevant data.
Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
The square footage listed on the MLS has little to do with someone paying more than a home is worth?
As for your statement "people paying more than a home is worth". Appraisers are tighter now on appraisals than ever before. What facts you are basing your statement on?
If a buyer hires a qualified agent the tax card will be provided and the actual living square footage will be provided. If you are making your decisions based on the information provided on the MLS that's a big mistake. Often times the finished lower levels are included and should be mentioned on the listing. Second look at the source of the sqaure foot estimate? Appraisers will not miss this and if the Realtor you hired does I would suggest you find another agent with your best interest at heart. I wouldn't point the finger at Realtors though? If a client is selling a home agents can't qualify or verify every statement made by the seller nor should they. That's what the property disclosures are for!. If the seller tells the selling agent the wood floors and roof are five years old than that's what the agents put on the listing.
These are points you should bring up with your Realtor. Good luck!
Some agents will include Lower Level SF in that total living area, but they must put in remarks that "Lower Level" included in SF total and then designate what that amount is. Any agent worth their salt will double check that total with the recorded SF in the recorded info at Town Hall.
Now, if a property listing shows more Living Area SF than what is recorded with the Town Hall records, it could mean that space in Gross area may have been finished or an addition was added without a CO, Certificate of Occupancy; meaning possibly, the owners didn't apply for permits, not uncommon. They do this to avoid a raise in taxes. If so, that should be picked up by the Realtor and the appraiser will certainly pick it up as well as attorneys. That opens another issue, since getting a loan may require owners or buyers to demand, to retroactively apply for those permits, which will require an inspection of work done by the appropriate town dept. Then, negotiations may continue.
Bottom line, no matter what the Realtor discloses on listing, the appraiser will pick it up during their due diligence process when trying to accurately come up with a market value for the property. Remember at the bottom of every listing is a disclosure that says â€œListing Information comes from various sources and may not be accurate. No representation is made as to the accuracy of this information. You should verify any information that is important to your buying decision.â€ You, meaning the buyer.
Yes, "Caveat Emptor," buyer beware.
So the back stop is always the appraiser and the buyer's own due diligence, helped by their Realtor and attorney.
There may be instances that a property may sell for more than it's worth, unusual tho and more money down may be required.
Don't worry, we as Realtor's are "policed" by the State, MLS, buyers, sellers and our very own fellow Realtors.
Just because a listing agent or owner says it's so, doesn't mean it's true. I truly don't believe that homes are selling above market value in general. As to whether a home bought last year is worth less this year, is not due to inaccurate info, it is due to what the market is bearing at the moment.
Thank you for your thoughts. PS. Many towns are using a company to assess properties called http://www.visionappraisal.com. I didn't see Meriden in the list, but the info generally is correct. Again, buyers must do their own due diligence as well and inaccuracies should always be reported to the proper authorities.
And for those who feel that square footage is critical, they can certainly bring a digital tape measure (available at most hardware stores for under $25.00) to the property once they'd decided they have more than passing interest.
There are occasions when the figures from the tax assessor's office may be incorrect......i.e. improvements performed to the home that were not recorded, etc. etc. If you are being represented, your agent will not only show you the MLS listing of the subject home but also the tax records. If there is a square footage difference between the 2 records your agent will find the reason why.