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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Real Estate and Landlording => Topic started by: FruGal on March 07, 2019, 08:26:41 PM

Title: Offer accepted, lot is smaller than listed, can I ask for reduction?
Post by: FruGal on March 07, 2019, 08:26:41 PM
My offer was accepted on a single-family, FSBO, investment property. Sellers listed the lot size online as 0.75 acres. I just got the plot map with the prelim title report. By calculating the area I know it's actually 0.5 acres. Are there any rules of thumb for asking for a price reduction? The house is in a secluded residential area and zoned very low density (aka the property can't be divided without a zone change).
Title: Re: Offer accepted, lot is smaller than listed, can I ask for reduction?
Post by: CowboyAndIndian on March 10, 2019, 02:17:40 PM
A difference of 0.25 acre in the lot size cannot be a mistake. It is possible that there are other such "mistakes" (e.g failing septic, asbestos or some future development which might impact the price of your property) that the seller is not telling you about. I would definitely go thru the inspection with a fine tooth comb.

You are not getting what was promised in the offer. So, you have the option to ask for a lower price or walk.


Title: Re: Offer accepted, lot is smaller than listed, can I ask for reduction?
Post by: theoverlook on March 11, 2019, 08:50:57 AM
It's a long shot, but is it possible they left out part of the property, in error? I had a similar deal, house had 3.5 acres but initial paperwork only included 2.5 acres because there were two parcel numbers and they were only including one of them. I asked for and received a correction showing both parcel numbers and all 3.5 acres.
Title: Re: Offer accepted, lot is smaller than listed, can I ask for reduction?
Post by: Fishindude on March 11, 2019, 09:21:13 AM
Had this happen to me on a piece of farm real estate.   When we got to closing the documents indicated that the acreage was 1.5 acres less than advertised. 
We reduced the price accordingly and closed.
Title: Re: Offer accepted, lot is smaller than listed, can I ask for reduction?
Post by: MayDay on March 11, 2019, 08:50:15 PM
We had this happen when selling, but with house so footage. Apparently the sq footage the county had recorded was wrong. We had no idea, but the buyer's inspector caught it. We met in the middle. It wasn't a big deal.
Title: Re: Offer accepted, lot is smaller than listed, can I ask for reduction?
Post by: secondcor521 on March 12, 2019, 06:30:41 PM
If your offer was accepted, then you have a contract.  What does your contract say about this situation?
Title: Re: Offer accepted, lot is smaller than listed, can I ask for reduction?
Post by: Kaybee on March 15, 2019, 08:04:07 AM
If your offer was accepted, then you have a contract.  What does your contract say about this situation?

Exactly.  If the contract identifies the property in a simple way such as “123 Street East” instead of something more detailed like “123 Street East, surveyed as parcel X123859 by City Cityname, with a frontage of 30’ and depth of 50’ totalling X square feet with a northern frontage”, the buyer could be in trouble.  I used to be a realtor out in the country and our sale contracts had insanely detailed descriptors when mentioning the property so that this exact situation didn’t happen.

Or, if it did (usually because the other big city agent hadn’t done their homework) our client could sue for a legal remedy. :)
Title: Re: Offer accepted, lot is smaller than listed, can I ask for reduction?
Post by: Omy on March 15, 2019, 09:24:25 AM
Did you have it appraised? I'm reading between the lines that you got a deal on this property. If so, you may be able to get out of the contract if it was advertised incorrectly and you are no longer interested. What is the value of .5 acre lots vs. .75 acre lots in that neighborhood? Usually it's not a significant amount of money - but that would be the amount I would ask for if I wasn't already getting a steal.
Title: Re: Offer accepted, lot is smaller than listed, can I ask for reduction?
Post by: ericrugiero on March 19, 2019, 08:58:20 AM
I have a friend that had this happen on a house that was advertised as 5 acres and was actually 3.5.  He offered a reduced amount which the seller turned down.  He elected to walk away. 
Title: Re: Offer accepted, lot is smaller than listed, can I ask for reduction?
Post by: thd7t on March 19, 2019, 10:39:56 AM
Go to the municipal courthouse and get the plat for the property.  This is the legal recorded size (and arrangement) of the property and it's what you're buying.  You need to do this when you buy property anyway.


If that doesn't match what you're seeing in your calculation or the listing, you can get a surveyor to measure the property.  However, this is probably a few hundred dollars.

Another option is to see if your library has Sanborn Maps.  These are insurance industry maps of properties and are very accurate.  Many cities have them.

ETA: Sanborn Maps are available online from the Library of Congress.
Title: Re: Offer accepted, lot is smaller than listed, can I ask for reduction?
Post by: Megma on March 19, 2019, 02:17:26 PM
Usually there is a point post inspections where you negotiate again and ask the sellers to adjust based on whatever you found. Have you done that already? If not, I would bring up the size of the lot discrepancy then (along with any other issues you uncovered) and ask for a price reduction accordingly and then you can decide if you want to walk away or not based on the seller's response.

Also consider how much money you will lose if you walk away. In my state, you put down two deposits. A first one (usually smaller) that you forfeit if you walk away at any time and a second one (usually larger) that is not on the line until after a certain date (between contract signing and closing date). You negotiate and price changes or additional concessions with the seller prior the date when your second deposit is on the line.
Title: Re: Offer accepted, lot is smaller than listed, can I ask for reduction?
Post by: Rick Imby on March 27, 2019, 06:48:27 PM
Sounds to me like less lawn to mow.  If you are not allowed to put another rental on the property a half acre is already a very large lot.  The extra .25 will only raise your taxes and is not usable anyway.