by Phoenix attorney Christopher A. Combs, partner with Combs Law Group, P.C.
Question: The MLS listing information per the county assessor’s records stated that the square footage of the home was 3150 square feet. When the seller purchased the property two years earlier, however, the appraisal by the lender at that time showed that the square footage of the home was 2884 square feet. After the close of escrow the buyer measured the home and the home was 2884 square feet. The buyer believes that the home is worth $50,000 less because of the discrepancy in the square footage. Is the seller liable to the buyer for $50,000 due to the discrepancy in the square footage of the home?
Answer: Probably not. Lines 195-197 of the Contract provide in bold print that the buyer has to verify the square footage during the Inspection Period. On the other hand, if the seller spec-ifically knew that the 3150 square feet per the county assessor’s records was incorrect, and that the actual square footage was 2884 square feet, the seller could have liability to the buyer for fraudulently misrepresenting the square footage of the home.