Last updated 11/8/2019
A multiple listing service (MLS) has its own advantages since it plays a major role in the appraisal process. An MLS is a nationwide service that allows you to list homes for sale. It is usually your real estate agent that lists your home in the MLS.
You should, however, note that an MLS is not always accurate and may sometimes get the square footage wrong.
Your county's department of assessment should have a copy of your property record card. You can start by requesting a copy. In most cases, you can find that information online. The copies may not include recent developments to the property, but they can serve as a good starting point.
You should also familiarize yourself with your state's laws and guidelines on how to calculate your square footage. If you find that difficult, you may want to hire a professional appraiser to see if there are any inconsistencies.
If an MLS is inaccurate, the first thing you should do is notify the local MLS in your district. Make sure to include a copy of your appraisal for square footage and lot size to show the inconsistencies. After reviewing the documents, the MLS will likely make the necessary adjustments.
As a real estate broker, you are required to accurately represent the property. Providing a wrong or conflicting square footage might lead to a real estate lawsuit. Thus, it is very important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself.
If you see the MLS is inaccurate, you should also notify the local MLS office and advise your clients to get a survey and appraisal for their property due to the discrepancies. Make sure to document everything. One way to do that is to conduct all communication in writing, so you can later explain to the courts the attempts you made to remedy the situation.
Buying or selling a house is, by itself, very stressful. A wrong square footage measure on the MLS definitely adds to that stress. If you are experiencing issues when selling or buying your home, it might be worth your time to speak to a real estate attorney near you.