The Lawyer's Letter says I "cheated" the Buyers out of Square Feet !

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams 414-525-0563 57026-90 Broker

   The Square Feet debate will continue ad infinitum as long as pSQUARE FEETeople live in houses....and maybe it began when they lived in tents.   We can always speak only for the Badger state....and if there are "standards" that everyone knows and follows, Bully for you and you have our admiration for consistency.

   Square feet has no consistency in how it is determined....it may be the perimeter of the house it may be a combination of the sizes of the room.  The second method of course leaves out ....or in a variety of things. It leaves out closets....may or may not include bathrooms...the thickness of the walls, the width of the halls. There are measuring tapeagent who add finished lower levels...with no exposure or egress windows....and those that do....sometimes the "sum total is just a case of not following or a different interpretation of "the rules."

      Our MLS has a disclaimer at the end of every listing which basically says "Buyer beware"....any part of the description of the house should be verified by an expert."  Not sure who that "measuring expert" might be...often the builder is unknown, circumference/home footprint  could be used...room measurements could be added....and so the debate begins.

        IF there had been things listed as included...ie an appliance...and it "disappeared" when the Buyers moved in...that is quite another matter a washer is a washer is a washer etc....Window treatments can be drapes curtains and/or blinds.

       I furnished the Seller with the language fromMLS....and now we wait for

the next chapter of the "how many feet does a square foot have if a square fot does have feet !"

          This is an informational post brought to you by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, Broker Associates  at Keller Williams at your service for all things

real estate

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Sally K. & David L. Hanson, ABR, CDPE, CSS, e-Pro,ILHM, REDS


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Rainmaker
2,375,063
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker

Good morning Sally and David. Square footage is always subject to interpretation. And, it is always a battle! Enjoy your day! 

Sep 30, 2017 05:31 AM #1
Rainmaker
3,201,694
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Sally K. & David L. Hanson ,

Ah the square footage dilemma!! Years ago there were lawsuits in Texas and as an agent we don't measure! The tax record square footage are automatically filled into our MLS but we can change it if we can quote the source if the measurement varies : appraisal measurements, builder measurements or the seller (wouldn't ever go there). But always a disclaimer that the buyer should ALWAYS complete their due diligence in verifying measurements usually through their appraiser completing an appraisal.

Sep 30, 2017 05:40 AM #2
Rainmaker
3,948,304
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Good morning, Sally K. & David L. Hanson that's always a slippery slope!!!  new construction is easy.... the architect states the sq. footage and that's what's quoted along with a plan....

Sep 30, 2017 05:45 AM #3
Rainmaker
494,749
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty & Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

It can be a real crap shoot sometimes. Thanks for putting an entertaining spin on it!

Sep 30, 2017 06:01 AM #4
Rainmaker
3,709,666
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for sharing the story. I will look for your post with the lawyer's response.

Sep 30, 2017 07:02 AM #5
Rainmaker
338,901
Marnie Matarese
DWELL REAL ESTATE - Sarasota, FL
Showing you the best of Sarasota!

I feel like just about everything in life needs to have a disclaimer these days.  Lawsuits leading to easy money prevail.  I fully expect to walk into a funeral home one day and see a disclaimer that "We believe this person is truly dead but are not guaranteeing it."

 

 

Sep 30, 2017 07:47 AM #6
Rainmaker
2,779,850
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hi Sally and David -- even citing the source of the information doesn't seem to be enough...interesting, huh?

Sep 30, 2017 02:04 PM #7
Ambassador
3,302,149
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Sally and David people often get confused between total square footage and living area square footage.  Sounds like this maybe the case here.

Sep 30, 2017 02:18 PM #8
Rainmaker
2,239,073
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning Sally.

We have some agents who actually measures the home, does an algorithm, and come up with the footage.  Others use the court house record.  I encourage our agents to use the court house record.

Oct 01, 2017 01:51 AM #9
Rainmaker
2,449,030
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

The problem is too many different people measure SF too many different ways Sally K. & David L. Hanson  . Gross, net, living space above ground.... so many ways.  The worst part of it all is when an appraiser messes it up as they should know better. I use the disclosures too but we are in a sue happy world

Oct 01, 2017 07:21 AM #10
Rainmaker
437,566
Dianne Goode
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC
Realtor/Broker

Here in NC we have very specific guidelines on how to measure square footage, and it's always based on the outside perimeter.  After that it gets complicated.  I pay an appraiser to do it for me.

Oct 01, 2017 02:48 PM #11
Rainmaker
3,929,999
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning Larry and Sheila.  Our MLS has an input for the source of the square footage.  I typically always use the tax rolls.  This way, they can sue the county if they don't like it.

Oct 02, 2017 04:53 AM #12
Rainmaker
449,466
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

As Dorie Dillard also said, my Matrix MLSs automatically fill in the square footage from tax records and I leave it at that. But those still get attacked as I am facing now with one of my listings where the architect of the (hopeful) buyer is trying to drive down the square footage for "negotiating" (his words) possibilities. One example, that staircases to a different level are not included TWICE. New one on me.

Nov 02, 2017 06:39 AM #13
Rainmaker
446,537
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

And what did the appraiser say? The buyers do not have to buy if the appraiser's report varies by a certain percentage from the sqft stated on the MLS.

Nov 02, 2017 09:13 AM #14
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