We put an offer on a house but the seller's listed square feet is 1700 and the public records shows 1500 , how does that affect my offer as a buyer

Asked by Maggie, West Hills, CA Fri Jun 1, 2012

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Matthew Bart…, Agent, Glendora, CA
Fri Jun 1, 2012
Hi Maggie

It appears there may have been some additions to the home that have not been permitted. If this is the case, then the Seller's will not be able to benefit with an increase in value based on that square footage. My question for you is, did your Agent prepare a list of comparible home sales for you prior to making and submitting your offer? If the answer is yes, then an offer based on the recorded square footage would have been appropriate. I recommend that you visit the local City Planning Department and request to see the homes file. In this file you should be able to locate all permits dealing with the home to determine if their have been any additions to the home that have not infact been permitted. Keep in mind also, that should your offer be accepted an appraisal must be completed (unless all cash purchase) to verify the homes value. No Appraiser will be able to include unpermitted additions in the homes value. Should the homes value fall short of the agreed purchase price because of this issue, you will have an opportunity to renegotiate the purchase price. Your Agent should be able to walk you through this process. I hope this answers your question. Good luck!

Warmest Regards,

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Bob Willett, , Sacramento, CA
Fri Jun 1, 2012
The public records are not always accurate, but it is something that you should check-out. I just had to fix a similar problem on my mother’s house as I wanted to make sure this didn’t raise a red flag when she tries to sell. It could be an unpermitted addition or just a miscalculation on the part of the assessor. In my mom’s case it was because the assessor didn’t include the enclosed breezeway in the square footage even though it was in the permit that way. It was a 300 square foot difference.
Web Reference:  http://www.SacRELender.com
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Terry McCarl…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Fri Jun 1, 2012
I would have advised you to verify the square footage prior to placing an offer. The difference is square foot will effect the appraisal.
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