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drmom2223, Home Buyer in Clio, MI

Is there any liability for an agent to list a house on the MLS with incorrect square footage? Or the buyer's agent to verify it?

Asked by drmom2223, Clio, MI Wed Sep 19, 2012

I bought my home in Jan. 2009, which was listed on the MLS as being 1180 "floor plan". I had told my buyer's agent specifically that I did not want a home smaller that 1100 sq. ft. I recently listed my home and it's actual sq. ft. is 1005. This is the difference of 175 sq. ft. or a decent size room. I never received a copy of the appraisal, probably because the seller paid for it? But the measurement on there was 1005 sq. ft. as well. I paid homeowner's insurance on 1180 sq. ft. for three years because that's all I ever knew it to be. Really, how many home buyer's measure after purchasing or even before? Trust me, I will now. This discrepancy lowered the value of my home by $20k right off the rip.
Even though I signed all those "documents", do I have any recourse?? It's sickening. I know people that sign consents for surgery and develop a complication that's listed right in the consent and still sue doctors.....

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Answers

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Is there any liability for an agent to list a house on the MLS with incorrect square footage?

Agents participate in the MLS and are bound by the requirement that the listing data be accurate. This is an MLS rule enforced by the MLS for the benefit of all MLS users. In this case the MLS listing is closed so the MLS would not take action regarding the error in measurement.

Whether the agent has other liability depends on a host of factors. The standard form sales agreement in New Mexico contains exculpatory language protecting the listing broker from square footage errors. The burden is placed on the buyer to measure the size of the property. This would probably not shield an agent from the natural consequences of intentional conduct.

Whether the buyer broker is liable is always a question of fact and reasonable conduct in your locale. All the facts need to be examined.

Your access to the appraisal would be automatic. Your lender should have it and you can get it.

Bottom line: this is a question of fact that cannot be answered based on your post. A full investigation is required to determine who knew what and when did they know it. These facts are measured against the standards for reasonable broker conduct in your area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 19, 2012
Well, first off, a listing agent cannot put "buyer or buyer's agent to verify" as it refers to sqft. Today, it's a violation. The seller or seller's agent should take proper steps to obtain the accurate square footage.

With regard to any recourse, you may wish to obtain legal advice from an attorney, as they are the only ones who can advise on the matter.

Do you know the source used by the listing agent to get the sqft measurement (e.g. floorplan, past appraisal, professionally done, etc.)?

Leigh-Jo
Syan Real Estate
Call/Text: (505) 730-8181
Web Reference: http://www.Syan.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 19, 2012
I gave all my documents to a real estate lawyer before I left NM. I now live in Michigan and am trying to sell my Albuquerque home. The lawyer told me that the listing agent basically committed fraud, he would look through my papers and get back with me. I never heard from him for 2 weeks so I emailed him....he never responded. Finally, I emailed him back and said "if there's nothing you can do for me, would you kindly send me all my paperwork?" I received all my paperwork last Friday. I inquired with another lawyer and he said there's a conflict of interest because he's represented this agent before.
So.......any ideas on a lawyer that would take my case?
As far as the listed sq. ft., my current listing agent called him and asked him where he got his information and he couldn't tell her and did not offer to look into it.
Thanks!
Flag Wed Sep 19, 2012
It is the listing agents responsibility to be accurate on the measurement. I often see that the listing agent hires an agent or certified person to measure the property. Unfortunately the value was likely not undervalued by $20,000. I have an appraisal background and could explain further if you wish.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 19, 2012
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