The Oklahoma Surpeme Court recently ruled that square footage is a material fact and that a BUYER can RELY on what a real estate agent tells them regarding square footage as a fact. Because of the ruling any lawsuits based on what someone belives is an erroroneous representation of the size will go to a jury trial and not a summary ruling by a judge. This is now the LAW. Therefore quoting square footage incorrectly is considered FRAUD. Since the ruling, as you would expect, the number of lawsuits based on this have increased. If you are on the wrong side of a ruling as a Realtor you also have no E&O insurance since fraud is an exception.
Okay, since the Supreme Court is not going to listen to me, this becomes the only forum I can vent with. Square footage is like The Theory of Evolution. Doesn't mean it is not true, it just means that in science new discovery is ongoing and to stop changing would be to negate the science. We have a website I pay for called REDLINK. I can go there and find all the registered appraisals on a property. Guess what and I knew you would get it on the first try, if there are six appraisals there are six different figures. If it was an exact science they would all be the same, but there has to be a margin of error.
I realize that agents sometimes do stupid things. Our MLS allows an agent to put in a size and say agent measured. This is incredibly stupid, and even I won't do that although I had been certified as an appraiser in a previous life. But my question is this, at what point does a wrong footage constitute fraud.? Is the number 10 feet off, or 25, or 200? I can guess the outcome of all this. Eventually we will be going back to common law based on court decisions that will be constantly changing, and because of that more appeals. Attorneys can now offically party all the time.
I love my state sometimes, but often I despair that our "best and brightest" here are not so bright. In the meantime I now have another addendum to add to contract to try to keep me out of harms way. Our office official policy now is no addendum signed, no contract. But there is always a silver lining to any decision. All those throw them up against the wall agencies who recruit every Tom, Dick, and Jane off the street are going to be in big trouble. Without E&O I hope you have a ton of money in reserve. You are going to need it.