Profile picture for pdawgg

Wrong sq.ft. in the listing

We put an offer on a short sale home that was listed as 2700 sq. ft. We recently found out that the home did not have loft option which changes the sq. footage to 2500 sq. ft. The loft can be built to get 2700 sq ft.
We did not put any EMD (earnest), only a regular short sale offer with all contingencies.

My question is -- can I cancel the contract with the above reason before or after we get the approval without putting the money in escrow?

Please advice.
  • December 11 2011 - San Jose
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Answers (7)

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In California, loft square footage sometimes is not counted as GLA, it kinda all depends. Ive appraised some townhome tracts where they all have lofts but it is not counted as GLA, for whatever reason (usually dealing with building codes). But as others have mantioned, you usually can walk away from a transaction for any good reason, and this would be one of them. I would maybe renegotiate the purchase price, talk to a local appraiser or Realtor and ask how much a loft is worth in your market.
  • December 11 2011
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Does it help the seller if I wait till the short sale is approved and withdraw my offer so its easy for them to sell the property to another buyer as it will be a "pre-approved" short sale? or will they have to restart the process all over again?

Thats a legal question. I would consult an attorney, or your agent, you dont want to be held liable for future costs. An attorney advice will be more reliable than anyone's advice from this Zillow forum.
  • December 11 2011
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Profile picture for pdawgg
Thanks for your replies.

Looks like I can withdraw my offer anytime as long as I don't put in earnest money. 

Does it help the seller if I wait till the short sale is approved and withdraw my offer so its easy for them to sell the property to another buyer as it will be a "pre-approved" short sale? or will they have to restart the process all over again?
  • December 11 2011
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Profile picture for the_country_hick
Read the article below. It shows how realtors have a duty to have the facts straight and how you have legal rights when they do not.

Holmes v. Summer: dilatory disclosures and the damage done | first tuesday journal online

"Holmes v. Summer provides a watershed moment in case law for brokers and their listing agents.  Holmes reestablishes proper conduct for listing agents and their brokers regarding the timing of property disclosures (specifically title condition disclosures in the Holmes case).

Holmes mandates that all disclosures of material fact about the property, known to either the seller or the listing agent, which might influence any of the buyer's decisions about purchasing the property must be made to the buyer by the listing agent prior to acceptance of an offer,

not after an offer is accepted and escrow is opened, as has become the generally accepted custom amongst brokers and agents today."


Title condition or square footage, it still needed to be disclosed. It was not.
  • December 11 2011
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In California there is a contingency period. Short Sale or not. These contingencies do not start until the short sale is approved. So if your contract was written in California then you can walk away for just about any reason with out penalty.

  • December 11 2011
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No earnest money, no contract, even in short sale world.
  • December 11 2011
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The answer may vary from state to state.  In my opinion until the earnest money is delivered and deposited in the listing agent's escrow account there is no deal.  It does state in our contracts that the buyer is responsible to verify the square footage and condition of a property.  Talk to your agent or their managing broker.
  • December 11 2011
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