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Square Footage Lawsuits: What You Need to Know

Did you know that discrepancies in square footage can cause major issues when selling real estate? For many buyers, square footage is one of the most important factors influencing their purchase. Oftentimes, however, the actual measured square footage of a home or building can vary from the represented figure. If this amount is misrepresented in any way – whether it be intentionally or inadvertently – a buyer can file a lawsuit against the seller for fraud or misrepresentation. These lawsuits can be devastating to sellers, as damages related to even minor discrepancies of a few feet can grow considerably if brought on behalf of multiple plaintiffs or in the form of a class action suit.

For example, if a condos in a 100-unit complex are represented as having 1,500 square feet but are measured after sale to actually be 1,450 square feet, the developer and seller may be held liable for misrepresentation and can be required to reimburse the buyers for their non-received space. If the units are being sold for $500 per square foot and the buyers of all 100 units jointly file suit, the damages could total up to $2.5 million.

How Can Sellers Protect Themselves?

In order to protect oneself from these types of lawsuits, it is imperative that sellers use appropriate language in their sale documents and ensure all relevant disclosures are made aware to buyers. Whether a seller is selling a brand new unit or a converted space, any property that is leased or sold using square footage as a main selling point must be accurately measured and appraised prior to being brought to market.

Seeking the services of a an experienced real estate lawyer can be invaluable, as a legal professional can ensure that all documents are prepared accurately and clearly to ensure that buyers are fully informed of all aspects of their purchase. If you are looking to sell your home, an Illinois real estate attorney from the Law Office of Al Beaudreau, Ltd. can help minimize your liability against a square footage misrepresentation lawsuit and ensure a smooth transaction.

To find out more about what our 20+ years of legal experience can do for you, contact us online or call us at (888) 502-9477 to schedule a free consultation!