I would first call the appraiser. You need to know if he/she actually measured the square footage or went by the tax record. If either you or the appraiser got info from the tax record--verify it. Tax records are notoriously off. You then should go into the home and measure it yourself (or have your agent do this). If there is a big discrepency, you may have a valid arguement for negotiations. However, keep in mind, that the seller may have had no knowledge that his/her agent made this mistake and so you may have to pursue compensation from the listing agent. This may be getting into a legal situation, so it might not hurt to talk to an attorney for some advice. Good luck!
Have a great day...
Cost per SF is one of many factors used to evaluate the true value of property. Bill is correct in that there is a catch all phase which protects parties and for good reason. Calculating SF is a more complex science than people give credit to and most SF calculations are "technically" incorrect. For example, stairs cases, landing and vestibules are not technically "living space" and should not be counted in the overall SF. However most people include it. I would first ask yourself how much you love your potential home. Then I would calculate the difference between the reported SF and the actual SF to the best of your ability. If the total SF is off by less than 50-60 SF, I would not lose sleep over it. I would ask for a credit and this can be very easily calculated. If the difference is significant, say over 400 SF, this is a major issue and really will require some thought.
I hope this helps you. If you would like to discuss, I would be more than glad to talk with you.
The Schaffer Realty Group
Are you working with a real estate professional? Is so, bring the mistake to their attention. It depends on the circumstances but they may be able to negotiate a price decrease for you. Depending upon where you are in the buying process.
As a point of information, there is generally a disclosure on the MLS information that says something to the effect 'Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Parties are advised to verify"
the "Eckler Team"