As with many states, New York is a “buyer beware state” where home buyers must do their due diligence by checking all the facts and data presented. Brokers disclaim their responsibility for errors in the fine print of their websites to cover themselves. However, sometimes the seller and/or the broker just flat-out get things wrong or lie to prospective buyers. With that in mind, Rapid Realty recommends learning about common seller misrepresentations to avoid having to file a complaint with your new co-op board, for example.
When “Private” Space Is Not So Private After All
When a seller states that a roof deck would be “yours alone” and notes it as a “private deck” in his/her listing, be sure to find out how much of that space is actually yours. Find out if it is a portion of the roof deck that would be yours alone and where that portion is located on the roof. Often times, the common space interferes with spaces dedicated to particular units. Be sure that you clear up these details before contract signing.
Passageways Are Not Bedrooms
One of the key qualifications for claiming a room as a bedroom in New York is that the room must have light and ventilation. If the home or unit were built after 1929, the room must also be at least eight feet in width and height. Sellers may try to create a bedroom out of a dining room or passageway and, while this may have served their current needs, it does not make an official bedroom. Speak with the building’s management if you have any concerns as to whether or not what you looked at was a two bedroom unit or a legal one bedroom.
Fuzzy Square Footage
Another commonplace sneaky maneuver, is shortchanging the square footage. It is probably the most commonly misstated point of fact. Often times sellers and their brokers just eyeball the square feet or guesstimate by walking the space. If you find yourself in negotiations and the price is hinging on accurate square footage, hire an assessor to get an exact measure. If a unit ends up being 10% smaller than you had expected, after buying it based upon a floor plan, you can most likely terminate the contract and get your money back. Any difference less than 10%, it is unlikely you will get out of the deal.