Home Buying in 95624>Question Details

Phil, Home Buyer in Austin, TX

Do realtors need to disclose if they add unofficial square footage that has not been permitted and is not on tax records, to the MLS?

Asked by Phil, Austin, TX Wed Jan 15, 2014

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Disclosure is key. Lack thereof is an E&O lawsuit waiting to happen.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 19, 2014
Must disclose known facts. Not allowed to blatantly lie. Such as 1960 sf described as 2000. Hmpff!
You can euphemize. Wrote vintage instead of dated. Wrote cozy instead of small. Wrote Diamond in the rough instead of big dog fixer.
But, not allowed to round up.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 15, 2014
Yes, the euphemisms... :)
Flag Thu Jan 16, 2014
I'll bet we could find examples of me being funny, too. If we look hard enough, high and low.

Oh, did you mean euphemisms? That too.
Flag Wed Jan 15, 2014
You're funny! Bet we could find some examples of this ... :)
Flag Wed Jan 15, 2014
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
I believe, it is only good practice, to disclose any information which may affect the value of the property. Certainly, adding unofficial square footage, especially if it is not permitted should be disclosed properly, so the buyer is not misinformed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 15, 2014
If the listing agent has been given this information, then yes, it needs to be disclosed. If the agent has not been given that information by the seller, then they certainly can't disclose it!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 15, 2014
This is why appraisals are done. They find out about sf and permits. Are you trying to sell un unpermitted addition?

Alex Greer
Loan Officer
NMLS #1056079

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 15, 2014
In the Matrix/ Crisnet MLS an agent can use a classification of "estimated". If I have a listing that is 1960 sqft. I will most likely put 2000 sqft estimation.
I do that so people looking for at least 2000 sqft don't miss out on a property.
The other thing is a Realtor may disclose actual square footage in the private agent remarks so a buyer's Realtir can tell them.
Maybe there is a room addition that a seller put on that adds 200 sqft extra. The Seller's Realtor may add that 200 sqft on the general MLS and in the private remarks disclose the seller did a room addition adding 200 sqft that not permitted.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 15, 2014
How trur - Great answer!
Flag Thu Jan 16, 2014
ANYONE needs to disclose anything that might affect the reason that a buyer selected a property and were paying a specific price. That means the seller, the realtor, or anyone else in the transaction.

But that comes with a caveat. Most often a realtor can state the source of where the information was given to them, but there would need to be further substantiation as to whether it was fact or not. For example, in the case given, an appraiser may measure additional square footage than what is shown in the tax records. The seller would need to disclose if they know for a fact that the addition was done without permit. However, there are situations that the addition was done by a previous owner. Having the buyer review the permits pulled on the home at the county planning department may help determine if the work was done with or without permits.

It comes to reason that any disclosure should be validated by the appropriate authorities. That is never the realtor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 15, 2014
Review the state required disclosure sheet and check with your Realtor Member.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 15, 2014
Yes, they need to disclose all non-permitted space. Equally as important is they must also disclose if space is permitted but not as inhabitable space. For example, a permitted expansion of a garage or storage building.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 15, 2014
Be aware, the buyer is repeatedly advised to 'confirm' all elements of material value.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 15, 2014
A REALTOR will indicate on the Multiple Listing Service the source of the square feet measure.
The sources can be, but not limited to:
1. owner
2. public records
3. measured by:
4. appriasal
What you may see on sites like Trulia or Zillow is in no way related to ANYTHING the agent does nor is the agent or brokerage responsible.
You need to use the data your REALTOR provided you.

Best of success,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor University High School distirct
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 15, 2014
The agent later admit that she chose to add an unpermitted sun porch to the GLA of the house on the MLS listing, and that it had never been measured, the number she added was a guesstimate. So, to clarify, what would an agent chose from the drop down menu to alert a buyer that she has added an estimate of unofficial living space to the MLS? Or where might that be disclosed?
Flag Wed Jan 15, 2014
What would a REALTOR chose from the drop down menu if he or she chose to add the square footage and knew it hadn't been measured, but was an estimate?
Flag Wed Jan 15, 2014
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