The price/size difference in your mind is about 12-20%
You still want and can afford the house at 12% below your contract price
You had a home inspection and eliminated that contingency
The home appraised for the sales price
"Time is of the essence" was not in the contract
What do you know about the seller's other 2 appraisals? What sq ft did each say?
Did you check your appraiser's math and method? How much did your appraiser adjust for size differences on the comps?
Is the home a split level where the sq ft in question could be a judgment call?
Your time to object was during the contingency periods.
You expected the appraisal to come out higher than what you were paying.
"Grossly inaccurate" is really just a "discrepancy".
You will lose your earnest money.
You will not recoup any expenses.
Only the lawyers will win in mediation or court.
Your lawyer should have held some of the seller's funds in escrow until the garage door situation was remedied and the sellers do have to fix that or credit you.
Loosing the rate lock was your fault.
You can probably negotiate with the sellers and agents an agreement to walk away with no further actions, legal or otherwise.
Again, if this does not bring satisfaction or a common ground you will probably need legal representation. I hope it doesn't come to this as noone wins these types of situations. The question you have to ask yourself is - do I still want this home?
If it is a positive response - square footage really shouldn't matter. If you are standing on principal and the sellers don't want to budge on a credit - it's attorney time....
My suggestion would be for you to contact a real estate attorney or at the very least contact your agent's broker. Is your Realtor working as a "buyer agent" for you or is she the listing agent and she is representing both "sides"? There is a lot to consider and more questions than I have answers for, but the biggest thing that will hinder most of us trying to respond to you will be your State laws and how your contract reads.
Best of luck to you,
This is a sticky situation and is the reason most home sellers do not like to include square footage. You need to refer to your contract and speak with your agent. If you have been misinformed you may have had to "discover" this within the first few days of signing the contract. If no sitings were found within that time frame the home is sold - "as is".
However, having said all this, I would definitely seek the assistance of your realtor in seeking "restitution" from the seller. If they were the source of the Sq. footage computation and they are reasonable - maybe you can meet in the middle insofar as a credit to you is concerned.
Your terminology states "grossly inaccurate" and it sounds as if all movement halted at the closing table. This then implies that the sellers are aware of the fact that you feel "misled".
It would then behoove you to seek a middle ground somewhere, rather than lose the home you desired and/or the deposit you placed. The MLS is not culpable as it only receives information it is fed. In this instance; you may have been the party responsible for verifying the facts as they were presented.
So sorry for your predicament. Please keep us abreast of your status; as this is a case study we can all learn from!
I don't think they misled you on purpose, Do you really believe that? If you do think it was malicious and intentional , then maybe.
How much is your earnest money by the way?
How about offering to split it and moving on to avoid the headache.Otherwise money will sit there forever until it is resolved.
Once attorneys get involved it drags things out so long.Stress is unbearable.I see fault on both sides here even if it was not intended.Hopefully money not too much and you can both move on.
I had this happen and buyer got out well before settlement.(inspection time frame still)They didn't feel footage was represented correctly.But had we not, probably not good enough reason to get out legally.You shouldn't have waited till the table to discuss that.
Seems wrong to me, that you didn't settle that day because of that.You saw the house well before and still liked it.
I'm wondering why your agent fibbed about checking at courthouse for you.
By the way, thank you all for all the feedback, I really appreciate everything.
Here's my advice (it's blunt) if you're buying square footage, then sure walk away from the deal, you're only concern should be getting the most square footage for the money. More than 90% buyers buy on floor plan and "feel" - it's all emotionally based (yes, believe it or not!) so it most likely won't hurt you.
Did you not see this house before closing? DId you think there was a hidden bedroom somehwere?
What did your buyer's agent say about the law there? In most states, you'll have to prove a hard case that you were truly deceived. In those cases, you're NOT justified at all and would be subject to losing your E.M.
Of course, as a CYA for me, I don't live or work there, so what do I know! Good luck, hopefully you can enjoy the home.
In Kansas City hardly anyone reports square footage for the reasons you have come across. Then, with all our split level homes, how do your report above grade or below? Splits have levels that encompass both above and below!
My first reaction is to tell you to negotiate with your real estate agent's broker. The broker is going to recognize this as a problem. But to some degree it's the buyer's responsibility and right to verify everything about a house. That's why there is an inspection period.
But don't listen to me. I would check around for a good real estate attorney and take their advice. You are certainly not the first person in Wichita to have this issue. Best of luck to you.
Sorry to hear about your sq. footage shocker. That is a big difference!
Do keep in mind, however, that although Buyers often like to compare listings they're considering based on the price per square foot, this is not always the most accurate way to figure out if you're paying a fair price for a property, unless you're looking at homes in a new development where the homes are all similar, or at condos in a specific area (at least here in Chicago).
However, with that said, although the price may or not be an issue, you are also correct in assuming that there is liability involved in this situation due simply to misrepresentation.
Square footage is a material fact that must be accurately disclosed when used in advertising property for sale (or rent), and when there is a listing agent involved, it does become the responsibility of that agent for ensuring this information is accurate.
There have been cases of licensees being disciplined in the past for quoting inaccurate square footage. The disclaimer statement you mentioned found on most MLS sheets which states, "Information herein deemed reliable but not guaranteed," will not always protect the agent from the Commission seeking disciplinary action when he/she advertises inaccurately.
Have you talked to a real estate attorney to see what your options are?