Is there recourse if a house was listed a higher square footage than it appraised at?

The closing date is in about 3 weeks. All listings said 1925 sq ft but the appraisal said 1595 sq.

Asked on November 19, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It depends if you have seen the house in person or not before making your offer.
Fraud can provide a basis to void a transaction--that is, to get out of having to go through with (if that is what you want to do). But fraud--a material or important misrepresentation--must be "reasonable" to be actionable in this way. It is not reasonable to rely on a written description when you have seen the home with your own eyes: so if you visited the house before offering, you would be considered to have made your decision to buy the house based on the evidence of your own senses, not the listing. Therefore, there would be no reasonable reliance on the listing if you had personally seen the house.
If you had offered sight unseen, you could use this as a basis to get out of the deal and get your earnest money/deposit back. You cannot force them to lower the price, but they may choose to do so rather than lose the sale.


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