Princeton Capital Blog

Public Records Errors and Real Estate Transactions

February 15th, 2011

ris 11.16.09 - 1A recent Inman News article explains how mistakes in public records can hurt sellers without due diligence. While paperwork isn’t the most glamorous part of selling a home, the article is clear about the dangers of not knowing the legal usable square footage of your home as defined by the public record.

Buyers want to know the actual square footage, not just what is reported by the seller. If the numbers don’t match up, it could cause a problem.

For example, the article hypothesizes that “if the sellers say their house has 3,000 square feet of living space, but the public record reports only 2,300 square feet, the buyers expect an explanation for the discrepancy.”

Many appraisers are now only taking legal public record square footage into account when making their evaluations of a home’s worth.

It would be wise to check that the record on your home is correct, and make adjustments to it if not to prevent any transactions from falling apart over this detail. As the article points out, it can take months for changes to show up in the public record, so it is best to start fixing any mistakes early on.

Read the Inman News article here. Do you know what the public record says about your home?

Creative Commons License photo credit: laura padgett

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