No Claim for Home’s Less Square Footage

Question: The listing brochure said that the Scottsdale home that we purchased for $2.5 million was 6,300 square feet. Our prior home in Tempe was 5,800 square feet. After close of escrow, we tried to move our furniture and furnishings from the Tempe home into the Scottsdale home, and there was barely enough room. We then measured our Scottsdale home and discovered that our Scottsdale home was only 6,000 square feet, approximately 5% less than the 6,300 square feet stated in the listing brochure. The price of our Scottsdale home was based on $400 per square foot. We want the seller now to pay us $120,000 because of this 300 square foot difference. Do we have a claim against the seller or the brokers for $120,000?

Answer: Probably not.  First, the AAR Purchase Contract states, in bold print, on lines 225-227, that any reference to square footage is approximate, and if square footage is important to the buyer, the buyer should conduct their own square footage investigation during the 10-day inspection period. Second, in 2010 the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that the buyer had no claim for damages when there was approximately a similar 5% difference of 187 square feet between the 3,792 square feet of the home advertised by the seller, and the actual 3,605 square feet of the home. 226 Ariz. 287.

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