The difference between 1700 and 1800 square feet is important but may not be significant. Did you like the house? Does your furniture fit? Is is in the right location for you? How about schools, commute distance, neighborhood, etc.?
In commercial property, every square foot counts. In residential it may be a different matter.
Depending on what contract you used, you may have already waived your appraisal contingency when you removed your financing contingency. Another answer to get out of an attorney.
How much was the house? If it was in Tracy and cost $200K, you might hypothetically calculate that you lost $11K. That would be based on absolute square footage being used as a basis for value. If it appraised at the sales price with 1700sf, you have an argument on the seller's side that it is worth what you paid for it.
Again, time for a good real estate attorney or buy the house.
And your agent ought to know how to guide you on these issues. Based on your previous comments, it doesn't sound like you are getting good advice. It also sounds like the listing agent is a dual agent. Red flags or a tempest in a teapot? You always (for the past 2 years on several different transactions) seem to have lots of basic questions that tell me you've gotten no help from the agents you've worked with.
Mark Burns, Realtor
Coldwell Banker Elite - Top 1% Worldwide
President - PRDS, Contracts and forms for Silicon Valley Residential Real Estate 2008-2011
DRE #00896552 Licensed isnce 1985
Over 600 Homes Sold in Silicon Valley
Hollie, I think you really need to be able to demonstrate how the difference in measurement affects you, how you had been deterred from checking the public records, and how you wouldn't have bought the property if it was, in fact, smaller than the listing agent represented.
If you can do that, have at it.
#2. Did the House appraise for the sales price or not? -if it did, then isn't all well???
#3. If 100 sq. ft. is really worth walking over. You can walk away from your earnest money and hope the Sellers do not bring Legal action against you.
Whether you have Buyers remorse or a real leg to stand on, is first and foremost a Legal question that needs to be addressed by Real Estate Attorney...
I dont think anyone can give you the legal advice you are asking except a real estate attorney.
You can try to get it worked out on your own in the meantime.
Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes Realty
California Department of Real Estate License # 01312992
If the home you are purchasing is still within the appraised value then price per sq. ft. then it would not matter
Cancel a contract w/o any professional reviewing executed agreement no "virtual answer" to your benefit can be rendered.
Contact your buyers agent or real estate attorney
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
Regret to hear you have a problem of such a magnitude at the last minute.
I am also surprised you used a Dual Agent.
Sometimes Listing agent and Sellers use square footage from the outside wall
and some from the inside wall.
If your appraiser, "measured and appraised" the property then it is move forward
or a walk decision for you. Looks like you used the C.A.R. contract, as there is a
Financing and Appraisal contingency, separately.
On a separate note, I disagree with Carl Medford, this is a case of Dual Agency, with all
Contingencies removed except Appraisal, and buyer is asked to switch Agent now.
Best that you get in touch with a Real Estate Attorney, if you cannot resolve.
It will be great for us to know how did you resolve it.
After all the questions I've seen you post here, I just have to ask, "What is your Realtor doing for you?" All of these questions can be answered by a competent Realtor who should be working on your behalf. There are certainly plenty of good answers below â€“ I guess Iâ€™m concerned about the level of representation you are receiving since you seem to have so many unanswered questions you are bringing to this forum.
When an agent inputs into the MLS they obtain information from the seller and/or county records, or other third parties. If the seller had a previous appraisal showing 1800 sq. ft. it's possible they used that number. The MLS has a box to check as to where the information was obtain in regards to the square footage.
A buyer determines the value they want to pay for a house. The appraisal is used to determine value for the protection of the lender and also for benefit of the buyer. So when a home comes in at the sale price we are left to understand the sale price is the value of the home. This value is based on the current square footage, as compared to 3 or more similar properties.
With that, in reading your question it appears to me that perhaps you are looking for a way out of this transaction and if that is the case you need legal advice. It is also possible you are looking to save a bit more on what you already agreed to, and that is where your agent comes in.
Two things really confused me:
Why listing agent can put any number on MLS without any verification?
How to get correct number about a house if we can't trust public record and appraisal?
Going back to your original question, you CAN negotiate or back out and get your deposit back if you have not yet removed your contingency.
Did the listing agent represent you and the seller? Your situation is much easier if you are working with a buyers agent. This does not mean the listing agent can not help you.
San Jose Realtor
With a difference of 100 sq feet for the entire house, the sellers probably won't cancel the contract. I could understand if a zero had been added to the square footage or acreage. But this is likely less than 1' off in a few rooms of the house. And you apparently have no ability to cancel the contract since you've waived everything. And apparently despite the 100 square feet, your house passed the appraisal.
Also, there usually isn't that much difference in price between a house of 1800sq ft and 1700 sq ft. Assume standard features and have your realtor pull comps at 1800 sq ft and 1700 sq ft. I don't think you'll find much difference.
And if you get an attorney that's worth a darn, he's going to give you a good talking to about waiving contingencies and rights of inspection and such. Which he should. I see a lot of folks playing fast and loose with this when they shouldn't be. I'm getting ready to pay cash for a house and I STILL have contingencies written in so that if something catastrophic happens and I can't get the money, I can get out of the contract without being sued. When you go talk to the lawyer, be sure to ask him about something called "specific performance" .
I'm in total agreement with my pal, Mark, on this one. Throughout this transaction with the listing agent serving as your buyer's agent, you've had questions, and while we've all been able to help you generally with information, what you are now seeking is legal advice that can potentially put your deposit at risk and I'm afraid that the only source for that type of information is an attorney. Without knowing the specifics of your transaction or the contract, citing that you can cancel the contract without consequences may not be true.
Talk to a real estate attorney for assistance, and, again, Hollie, if you choose to cancel the contract and find another home, please contact a real estate agent to represent YOU! This is especially important when you are a first time home buyer because the guidance your Realtor can give you through the negotiations and transaction can be invaluable. If you need the names or contact information for an attorney, do not hesitate to contact me.
Area Pro Realty
Tel (408) 426-1616
Public records are almost never right and you always have to verify for yourself what the measurements are. I would believe the appraisers estimate is accurate because they have measured the home. Did it appraise for the purchase price? Do you like the home? Do you see yourself living there? If you answer yes to these questions then I would ask, Does it really matter? If you saw this home and it said 1700 FSF, would you have passed on it and not looked at it?
You have a point and it is unfortunate that the information was incorrect. I would ask you this, Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? My guess is that the listing agent did not measure the home or made an honest mistake when they did. It can happen to anyone.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
You can ask the seller to reduce the price based on the appraisal. If the seller does not agree with you, you may cancel the contract. You will get your deposit back because you have never removed the appraisal contingency. If you do not cancel the contract on time, you may lose a portion or all of your deposit.
San Jose Realtor
The appraisal contingency is normally used for price issues, but I can see it being used for square footage verification too. Since the contingency is still in place, as the agent, I would definitely renegotiate. If the seller refuses, and you want to back-out, then I would cancel the contract and get your deposit back.