A misrepresentation by the seller and real estate agent as to the square footage of a residential property in Stouffville, Ont. resulted in the rescission of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS) and the return of the $50,000 deposit. (Issa v. Wilson, 2020 ONCA 756 [CanLII]).

Story continues below

The plaintiff, a 26-year-old first-time home buyer, wanted a house large enough to live in with his parents and three sisters. He retained the defendant real estate agent to help him find a suitable home. The same real estate agent acted for the seller of the property.

The agent told the plaintiff that the home size was 2,100 square feet, but this information came from the seller and a 12-year-old listing of the home. The MLS listing, based on the same information, represented the size of the home to be 2,000-2,500 square feet.

However, the agent did not measure the home himself to confirm the dimensions.

The buyer visited the property twice before making an offer to purchase and observed all the rooms while accompanied by family members. During one visit the seller told the plaintiff that the property was about 2,000 square feet.

The APS was signed and shortly before the scheduled completion date, the buyer received an appraisal of the property in connection with his mortgage application. The appraisal indicated that the size of the home was only 1,450 square feet.

The buyer then decided not to complete the purchase of the home. Litigation ensued with the buyer seeking the rescission of the APS and the return of his $50,000 deposit, which was opposed by the real estate agent and the seller.

In 2019, a trial occurred. Prior to trial, the agent admitted that he was negligent in failing to verify the size of the home. However, the defendants maintained that the plaintiff was not entitled to rescission since the plaintiff had visually observed the property and had entered into the binding APS before receiving the appraisal.

The remedy of rescission may be obtained on the basis of misrepresentation where a defendant makes a false statement that is material and induces the plaintiff to enter into the contract Panzer v. Zeifman et al., 1978 CanLII 1658 (ON CA)Singh v. Trump, 2016 ONCA 747, at para. 156.

In the circumstances, the trial judge found that the buyer was entitled to rescission based on the misrepresentations of the square footage as being 2,000 (or more) square feet. The misrepresentation was “material” and notwithstanding that the buyer had conducted inspections to see the property in person, his observations did not override his expectation that the size of the property was greater than 2,000 square feet. The trial judge found that the buyer’s young age, inexperience with square footage and being a first-time home buyer were all relevant factors to take into account when considering the reasonableness of his belief.

In November 2020, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the defendants’ appeal from the trial decision. One of the defendants’ arguments was based on the legal proposition that where a purchaser inspects a property, their reliance on a misrepresentation as to the size of the property will be displaced. The Court of Appeal did not accept that this was an absolute proposition of law and stated that this would depend on the particular facts and circumstances in a given case.

In the Court of Appeal’s view, there were several reasons why the defendants’ misrepresentation concerning the size of the home was material to the buyer’s decision to purchase:

  • The agent made explicit statements about square footage to the buyer and had formally admitted that he was negligent in making these statements. The seller also admitted that he told the buyer that the property was about 2,000 square feet.
  • The discrepancy between the negligently communicated size of the home (2,100 square feet and 2,000-2,500 square feet) and the actual size (1,450 square feet) was substantial (ranging from a 27 per cent to 42 per cent discrepancy).
  • The buyer’s reliance on the representations about the size of the home was supported by the fact that he remained ready to close the purchase until the moment he discovered, through the appraisal of the property related to his mortgage application, that its actual size was only 1,450 square feet. Upon learning this information, he immediately communicated that he was not prepared to complete the purchase.
  • Age and experience (or lack thereof) in home buying are, in appropriate cases, relevant contextual factors to be considered by the Court: Beer v. Townsgate I Limited (1997), 1997 CanLII 976 (ON CA).

As a result, the appeal was dismissed with costs to the buyer of $10,000. The decision affirms that a misrepresentation as to the size of the property may be grounds for rescission.

One issue that did not need to be addressed in the case but could come up in similar circumstances is the decision that a buyer must make when discovering a potential misrepresentation before closing. When discovering a misrepresentation before closing a buyer generally faces an election to either rescind or affirm the APS. A party who affirms a contract after becoming aware of the nature of the misrepresentation may lose the right to rescind on the grounds of the original misrepresentation.

Accordingly, if the buyer intends to rescind an APS on the basis of a misrepresentation as to the size of the property it is important to raise the issue immediately, as any steps taken thereafter in furtherance of the closing may be seen as affirming the APS. The buyer in this case did so and thus was entitled to the return of the deposit.

The takeaway for sellers and listing agents is to take steps to verify measurements before making any representations about square footage to a potential buyer. The same issues could arise with regard to any similar misrepresentations of fact about a property listed for sale.

34 COMMENTS

  1. a similar article appeared on MONDAQ
    it prompted my to ask about the TIMING of the orig APS
    That article’s primary author suggested I look at: https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onca/doc/2020/2020onca756/2020onca756.html?resultIndex=1
    Where I found some pertinent details that were not-too boldly noted in articles on MONDAQ and REM

    Calculating time from what is noted, this APS was likely arranged in Feb or March or April of 2017
    1) The appellants, real estate agent W. J. and realty company KWRC … (and) acted for both the respondent (buyer) and the vendor of the property, …
    2) 6] In late May or early June 2017, BUYER received an appraisal of the property in connection with his mortgage application. The appraisal indicated that the size of the home was 1,450 square feet.
    [7] BUYER decided not to complete the purchase of the home. He commenced an action seeking a declaration that the agreement of purchase and sale was null and void and the return of his $50,000 deposit.
    IMHO
    This Buyer’s decision to renege on the transaction was about loss of market value in Q2 2017 (and resultant difficulty in obtain financing w down payment as originally planned). Further this Buyer was lucky enough to find someone sharp enough to get the “young/inexperienced” notion accepted at trial and on appeal

  2. None of this could happen in Quebec. We have written rules and regulations for everything, including how to measure a house, and what is living space and what is not. Buyers and sellers who pay for our (realtors’) services are entitled to the expert, honest and knowledgeable service they are promised.
    With FSBO services and Facebook listings we are no longer the magicians who can find those secluded, “just right” properties, but we are still the intermediaries who can make a fair deal happen. To do that, we need clearly stated standards of practice and enforcement rules, plus continuing education.
    From all your entries above I see that this is not so in Ontario. Of course, it is not up to me, or to any Quebec real estate broker (yes we are all known as brokers now to emphasize the true nature of our services) to suggest how real estate should be conducted in Ontario. But reflect on this: When members of the public think that FSBO service providers do as good a job for much less money and with much greater freedom of choice, this opinion affects us all, in every part of the country and the USA. It has already cost us a great deal, and will continue to cost us more, unless the whole profession gets together under one umbrella of service practice.
    CREA has a responsibility here.

    • This might be an interesting sign of the future…

      These types of food businesses need our real estate support. How would appraisers evaluate such a business?
      For sure it would require special expertise. No history to find comps for starters.

      Carolyne Lederer-Ralston

      This news in the food world is in the Canadian Province of Quebec:

      Innovative farming produces fresh Quebec strawberries during the winter months
      Using the innovative vertical farming technique, Ferme D’Hiver is able to produce an estimated one ton of Quebec strawberries.

      Read in Global News: https://apple.news/Ap12BGUyfQSqOXnVCXbABMg

      Shared from Apple News

      ===

      https://www.realestatemagazine.ca/strawberries-special-super-easy-dessert/

  3. Reply to David Davidson’s reply of Dec. 17 at 2:05 p.m.:

    If anyone at the A.I.C doesn’t respond to my allegations—assuming they have read this story and my allegations—then cowardice/fear rules their inner sanctum. I am alleging that the Appraisal Institute of Canada oversees crooks who work under its umbrella of control; how many is up for assessment. Could the A.I.C. harbour within its ranks as many crooks, proportionally, as does Organized Real Estate? Could the actual ratio of crooks-to-honest-pros be HIGHER within the A.I.C. than within O.R.E.? Anything’s possible. There aren’t that many appraisers around. Thus, it’s easy to collude, price fix, let personal opinions rule the day vis a vis producing objective property values etc. Who’s going to challenge a professional C.R.A.? Certainly not the A.I.C. it seems. Supposedly the A.I.C. regularly conducts random spot checks of appraisers’ files. I never saw one in over five years at my firm, and there was plenty of evidence of corruption within most files. Remember the numbers to be met by the lenders? They were left within the files for anyone to see if they wanted to. And to think that within the paperwork accompanying every appraisal was a statement saying that “The opinion of value contained within this report does not reflect what was required by the client” (read lender) etc., or words to that effect. Thus, most every report issued out of our office was fraudulent, because most all of them had a target number affixed thereto! Hey! We were mortgage appraisal specialists! Now you know why I quit the ‘profession’ just three months prior to being able to go it alone. I would have had to work against all the other crooks within our small sphere/area! But at least I was never sued. Just plain lucky? Probably.

    True story: Whilst attending an education seminar put on by the A.I.C., the seminar leader (an official from head office/A.I.C.) told us that we would all be sued at some time or another, guaranteed; there was just no getting around it, and furthermore, that we would all LOSE our cases! He said that any good lawyer could tear apart any ‘so-called’ (my words) professional appraisal in a court of law and make it look incompetently produced. “That’s why we have errors and omissions insurance.” he said. He was prepping is for being ripped apart before a judge! Thus, he was telling us that professional appraisal reports, as produced by professionally qualified members of the A.I.C, weren’t worth the paper they were written on! I left that seminar shaking my head. Then I understood my mentor’s/boss’s attitude. Until then he had never been sued. He had been an appraiser running his own business for decades. I was never sued either, and we made lottsa $$$$$. I guess he had it right after all, eh? Like I said earlier, I was a member of a bullshit profession, and I got really good at producing bullshit appraisal reports for often unknowing clients, like private folks who wanted competing opinions of value in marriage break-ups, etc. Are we getting the picture now?

    Here’s just one true example: I was told to go to a certain premise and see the wife at the matrimonial home. The couple was splitting up, the husband had moved out, and had already had an appraiser produce an opinion of value for the purposes of establishing the value of the home. He wanted to pay off the wife and keep the home. I was to provide an opinion of value for the wife (paid for by the wife) which I did…properly of course. My opinion came in much higher than the husband’s appraiser’s opinion. Duh! No Shit! Thus, the husband stood to have to pay the wife off with a higher amount based upon ‘my’ opinion of value. My mentor boss told me to reduce my value to within one thousand dollars of the other appraiser’s…on the high side, so as to make it look legit, or he wouldn’t sign off on my report. (He had previously called the other appraiser to get his valuation number, which said scumbag produced) I raised hell with my mentor, because the other opinion was obviously on the low side, by a long shot. (The husband’s appraiser did his job, apparently) I had to comply. I really felt badly for the wife, who was unaware that she had been snookered by two competing appraisal firms. Remember my boss’s mantra? “Brian: We’re here to make money, not to waste time in court.” I went back into the real estate sales business, and believe it or not, my broker and broker of record were very honest and upright individuals, as were most of my cohorts within that brokerage. Of course there were a couple of slime balls slithering around the halls, but what else is new? More than one was hoofed to the curb during my final three-year tenure in the trenches. They just ended up working at another brokerage. Ho hum.

    What do you have in mind re your public-defender business plans? If you want my input contact me at [email protected]

    Best of luck with your venture.

    A.I.C….We’re waiting…………………………………………………………………………………..

  4. For every one of my listings I hire a professional measuring company to measure and draw up floorplans. I also quote the strata plan square footage on a condo listing so the buyer is fully aware of any discrepancy between the two measurements. Why is this not standard practice of Realtors®️- it makes me wonder why they would put themselves and their Sellers at risk.

    • Hi Lorna:

      The answer to your question is simple…laziness.

      Personally, when I was a Realtor, I measured the premises myself. It’s not that hard to do. I would not rely on anyone else to do that job. Even a so-called pro can get it wrong, and you would be relying on that mistake. It would be something like the exclusionary rule re evidence obtained via hearsay being discounted in a court of law if the thrust of this article became a legal issue. There’s an old saying: If you want something to be done right, do it yourself.

      Any Realtor who cannot measure a property accurately and thereafter calculate correct square footage—at least within five percentage points, plus or minus—should not be licensed. This is just basic, rudimentary stuff.

  5. Back in the late 80’s when mandatory Tuesday morning meetings ruled the day, followed by new listing inspections, I knew immediately when I saw a new listing in the just outside my farm area that particular day, that it was exactly what would appeal to a referral buyer from past client buyer would want for sure.

    But I had previously sold and actually listed the ten year old area floor plan on other transactions. The property backed onto a lightly forested walkway where a neighbour had hanged himself in recent couple of years so I felt obligated to disclose of course.

    But from prior area business I actually had a copy of builder floor plans stating the square footage above grade. An oversize two-car garage was built into the design, over which were large bedrooms. The MLS listing stated the square footage incorrectly. The agent had actually measured the outside perimeter structural walls she said. Now this was a seasoned agent in the business longer than I was. I suggested she amend her MLS listing pronto. But I booked a showing for my buyer. We’re talking sub-agency days still.

    How I constructed the offer was to have the buyer initial right in the offer insert body a paragraph that he acknowledged the MLS error and I attached a printout of the needing amended listing copy, highlighting the area in each of the six copies substantiating the error addressed by circling in yellow and initialled again. The seller who had not been the original owner was very surprised. But through this process my buyer had no surprise. And the transaction closed without even having a sign back. Both sides were pleased.

    An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure; and knowing product in the area where you work always helps. When you work the way I always did you mostly avoid problems. In the beginning of my career I studied MLS every free moment like a bible, inspected, took notes and created my own encyclopedia-like files that stood me in good stead all the years.

    Carolyne L 🍁

    • Brian,

      We were always told that neither the property owner nor the agent could be permitted to know the amount of the appraisal value placed on the subject property because the appraisal had been ordered and paid for by the lending institution (appraisal and lender costs passed on to the borrower by the lender as part of the mortgage adjustments processing fees through law office registration).

      Value determined by the appraiser is never released by the bank (appraisal industry law?). Owner and or agent not ever allowed to know what comps were chosen by the appraiser. No one’s business to know except the lender and the appraiser.

      Only the person or company ordering and paying for the appraisal could know the determined value-appraised number, supported by a legal paper file and have the actual physical file in hand; never could anyone else know the value-determined amount assigned to the file.

      I learned through an appraiser that the appraisal company keeps old appraisals for many years, even going back to old Teela card days. Mountains of old physical files now of course all mechanized. When a new appraisal is ordered, the appraisal companies have years’ old files that they check to see what the prior appraised values were. A fantastic history-base. (Even access to appraisals done by other companies? Is that true?) How does a private buyer fit into the process or a seller as lender (old VTB)? Do appraisal companies often run into a conflict of interest. Appraisers hired from out of town (working areas they are not familiar with just like real estate agents do) can really create problems. Word gets around that xyz bank appraisers are always generous; bank abc not so lenient (even more so in anticipated changing real estate markets).

      Owners who are often re-financing (often small business owners do) might not know that their property history (square footage of course) on file is kept likely forever and seemingly only a time adjustment is needed to support the new value. (An attached to the house deck is valued differently than one on pylons; why should that enter the appraisal equation; but it does.)

      The same appraisal company might re-do property appraisals repeatedly over the years: marriage breakups, estate sales, refinancing, resales.

      Being required to do six appraisals a day seems an incredible, nearly impossible, task. Was this an industry standard in your area? Especially in a rural area?

      As to measurements, closets, halls, bathrooms, foyers and stairwells are not measured, so I could never figure how agents added the collection of room sizes to establish square footage. Room sizes established, yes. Square footage, no.

      Carolyne L 🍁

      • Hi Carolyne:

        The six appraisals per day requirement was strictly my boss’s idea re making lottsa $$$$$. It was not a requirement per se, but simply a goal to be attained. He constantly complained that I took too long to inspect properties and thence write them up. What the hell; once I knew the target number, what as the problem? Quickly find three comparables that supported the desired number, adjust the differences between the comparables and the subject property, helter-skelter, on a dollar-per-item basis…on the fly, and voila…mission accomplished. Collect another fee. Everyone’s happy. We made the numbers work when it came to appraising for lenders. Like I said before, it was a license to make money. Only a Tim Hortons makes money easier and faster.

        Yes; no one is supposed to see the appraisal report except the lender. Who let the cat out of the bag in this case is the question that should have been looked at.

        The purchaser was ready and willing to close right up until he found out about the huge square-footage discrepancy (far greater then five percent). I see both sides of the argument. I still agree with the judge’s decision. Everyone misrepresented the property to the buyer, either innocently or negligently or maliciously. Take your pick. It all boils down to the same thing…incompetence, laziness, sell-sell-sellitis.

  6. I am an appraiser in western Canada. In this part of the country there is a RMS (Residential Measurement Standards) in place for all realtors to abide by whether they measure a home by themselves or by an outside party. For those realtors that are new to the business or are veterans in the industry, there are specific directions/illustrations on how to properly measure a home. This has been in place for some time in Alberta at least and it WORKS!!!

    • I’m sorry my friend, the Residential Measurement Standard system in Alberta is fraught with issues. So much so the Calgary Real Estate Board just announced that due to the increased number of incomplete RMS supplements and/or errors, CREB will be increasing the percentage of RMS audits. The flawed RMS policy conceived by the recently reprimanded Real Estate Council of Alberta is not mentioned in our Service Agreements and contradicts our Purchase Contracts. Members have no substantive training to measure homes, I suspect this is one of the many issues that caused Service Minister Glubish to remove education from RECA’s mandate. The RMS requirement is inconsistent with the contracted standard practice mentioned in clause 6.1(a) of the Seller Agreement and Clause 10.2 and 3.1(i) of the Purchase Contract. RMS has caused embarrassment to the industry, deceives the public and places unnecessary liabilities on Members.

  7. What REALTOR, of any reasonable competency, would not know the difference between 1450 S.F. and 2000 S.F.????
    I detest this lack of knowledge and care with a licensed person because it tends to throw all of us in the same bin, Labeled STUPID!

  8. is this a simple error caused by the style of house. a 4 level split with 2 floors above grade at 1450 sq plus the 3rd level family room added will be over the 2000 sq ft.
    many homeowners will include the 3rd level in total sq footage. leading to the innocent misrepresentation or misunderstanding on the sellers part.
    The appraiser knows how to measure a house but the value might still have been there for the mortgage. builders are not bound by the same rules for house measuring as the real estate industry so relying on the builders measure is
    not good practise.
    lesson to learn…measure the house every time and disclose. go back to your provincial associations rules for measuring property if in doubt.

  9. If it’s 2 storeys and has 1400 square feet above ground, the basement level would be 700, which adds up to 2100 total square feet. The problem is that you are supposed to count above ground square feet as 1400 and then refer to the total finished square feet as 2100.

  10. In the GTHA (Ontario), you can hire floorplanpro.ca to measure and/or draw floor plans, calculate total living space etc. A step I would recommend to all realtors!

  11. The listing agent should have been fined by its Board and RECO for lack of professionalism. I wish the seller sued the agent for his lack of professionalism. A “Residential Detail Report” available from MPAC for $9 would have prevented such an issue. There is no excuse for the listing agent. I hate to see this. Our Realtor profession does not reflect very well in public opinion because of those examples of lack of professionalism. Unfortunately, if a potential buyer checks the RECO website today for a little bit of background on the same listing agent, nothing appears under “Discipline History”. So bad and so sad!

  12. Brian: Appraisers will supply an opinion of value to satisfy the mortgage lenders. You know it and most Realtors know it. Knowing what a house sells for prior to doing the appraisal makes their job easier. Banks compete to lend their funds and will not work with appraisers that are a wee bit too conservative with their valuations. Also the bidding wars have created a mess for appraisers. Brian what is the point of an appraisal in these times.

    • Did the defendant have a second partly measure the home to verify square footage? Since there is no standard method to measure square feet I do not agree with this judgement. Was there a finished basement that is not included in an appraisers calculation of square footage? I also believe if a consumer has viewed the property more than once they are fully aware of the product they are purchasing. The industry quest to provide as much information of a property possible, has flaws. A property is a home , not just a measurement of space. If a property fits needs and wants of a consumer why all of a sudden does square footage even matter? It is my opinion that this judgement sets a bad precident. It gives a Buyer a new angle to get out of a deal if they see something better before closing.

      • Hi David Z:

        This case explains why we have courts. Not much in this life is absolutely cut and dry.

        As you know, only the square footage of a property—be it the building or the lot—if at least five percent, or more, is out of whack regarding the stated dimensions by the seller, would be routinely considered by a judge. This case displays a far differential number exceeding that norm. Thus, we have the court case, and subsequent decision favouring the purchaser. No judgement satisfies everyone, but your concerns are well noted. Yes…the occasional buyer might want to get out of a deal upon seeing what seems to be a better one, but that doesn’t happen very often. We have the court system to deal with those issues. Win some; lose some. That’s life my friend.

    • Hi David:

      Speaking as a former rogue appraiser, I can answer your concluding question thus:

      It is my opinion that appraisers serve to justify a pre-ordained value amount—usually suggested by the property owner, and often passed onto the appraiser by the potential lender—for a subject property in order for the lending officer to subsequently justify his/her decision (to head office) to lend the requested funds…right to the dollar requested. It’s an ass-covering thing that allows the local lending officer to hoist his/her ass out of the sling of responsibility for any potential financial loss should the mortgagor default. It’s basically a shell game. This is not to say that there aren’t good, competent, honest appraisers out there. There are. It’s just that they have to operate under an umbrella of servitude to the lenders, all the while being judged by the Appraisal Institute of Canada, their so-called watch-dog. One hand feeds the other, and vice versa. It’s quite a neat organization of systemic fraud actually…in my LTH opinion:-)

      • After 41 years in the real estate business I sadly must agree with you. I remember back in the 70’s that it took 21 days for CMHC to give their acceptance for a mortgage approval based on an ACTUAL inspection of the property. CMHC would often come back with their approval subject to some conditions being satisfied – for example roof (shingles) to be replaced. I think the appraiser even verified the square footage of the property. It appears today that appraisers are in the back pockets of the financial institutions. Many financial institutions want to approve the mortgages so their business doesn’t go to their competitors across the street. The bidding wars have certainly made it difficult for an honest appraiser to do their job. So what do the financial institutions do if the appraiser comes in low? They ask for a new appraisal that will come be acceptable for their files. Most buyers assume that the banks are protecting their best interests. Not so! Brian remember the 1981 housing crash?(21% interest rates). https://youtu.be/hqOn5XEm86A
        Could it happen again? Most likely but nobody knows the exact date.

        • It’s all about the money David; always has been.

          I’ve been waiting earnestly for someone from the Appraisal Institute of Canada—or at least a current appraiser—to challenge me regarding my systemic fraud allegation. Where the hell is their indignation about such an outlandish claim? Please…someone take me to task. I have a boatload of real life incidences supporting my assertion just waiting to be revealed herein in order to back up my claim. C’mon you professional appraisers…hit me!

          • Brian: Don”t waste your time waiting. Enjoy your retirement. PS Assume you are retired. D

        • David, of course it could happen again… totally unpredictable, it could creep up in a fashion like the Virus situation, just sitting in the wings.

          In an upticking market, it takes a while for bank-heads’ thinking power to catch up. A business owner buyer who only wanted a 23k credit line increase was told by his banker (not wealth management status) that he had paid too much for my listing in a firm transaction with no conditions.

          The listing price had been determined by the seller, based on and supported by several other immediate area comps (some in same subdivision) closed or sold firm documented sales most of which had been my listings also. Three sales were even the same floor plan, same builder. But the time warp was very close in an upturning market overall that in general had not yet had months of sustaining historical support throughout the whole GTA. But certain subdivision locations always find themselves a sought out wish list in any market. Buyers are often prepared to pay extra “for a particular address.”

          Maybe the banker had no experience in what was then considered high-end property values. We would never know. But the buyer was well-aware of other offers in the situation. The seller had elected to accept this buyer’s offer.

          History was such that agents often said my listings were over-priced and never would sell at or near list price; in each case those listings sold at or near list price and often as in this case attracted more than one buyer. We never can predict an outcome but clearly I was one of the luckiest agents in the industry for decades helping sellers get the best price.

          Who knows why my system worked repeatedly over all the years. I always said I never ever sold anyone anything. I was merely the provider of information. An amazing career brought about by that thinking.

          The newbies need to learn how to think outside the box maybe, David? Like you, I was licensed round about the same time and saw several up and down markets and remember well the early 80s 21% mortgage rates, seller rate buy-downs as well, but buyers had to qualify at the higher rate. That’s when creative mortgage brokers often saved transactions.

          The buyer’s banker in this situation was in the big city of Toronto core, and had never been in the burbs’ house and the bank had not required an appraisal. I could never figure out what prompted the banker to make such a comment. The sale price was less than 500k, considered an up-market property at the time, had a superior location with exceptional manicured landscaping. A well-kept interior although unusual decor that would not appeal to everyone. But clearly did appeal to at least three who were looking for a unique property that no one else had. Plus location, location, location was a dominant factor.

          But not having inspected the subject property, who and what was the banker relying on to support such a statement. Did the banker know the seller had three offers from which to choose? And in part chose this particular buyer because for short of the 23k he was paying cash by writing a cheque.

          I thought at the time the banker had no secure supportable reason for telling the buyer such. But agents have no control over such discussions. The buyer was annoyed thinking he had paid too much. There was no sign back to his offer. Accepted by the seller knowing he could have chosen either of two others.

          As agents there is no right to have, or voice, an “opinion,” only an obligation to provide support-provable documentable facts.

          Carolyne L 🍁

        • Hi again David:

          There was no reply icon under your last reply to me (Dec. 16: 6:32 p.m.), so this reply may be situated at the top of the current thread.

          Yes, I’m retired, happily so, nine years out of the madding crowd. But I will waste a little more time waiting for a response from someone at the A.I.C., or at least from a pissed-off-at-me appraiser. But then again, maybe they all know I speak the truth about the slimy underbelly of the business and some of its professionals.

          To think that I had to have a university degree to qualify to become a candidate—I have a B.A. (bugger all) in Political Science, with a strong Psychology minor—and thence spend lottsa dollars on a multitude of so-called university level A.I.C. (via the university of B.C.) courses in order to finally acquire the much vaunted designation “C.R.A.” (Canadian Residential Appraiser), or, as I like to call it (Crooked Ripoff Artist) which I forgot about three months shy of attaining same when I quit the business in disgust and went back into real estate to finish out my working career.

          To wit: I had just been let go after years of reliable candidate service by my so-called mentor/boss because I had made a minor mistake calculating, wait for it, square footage on ONE appraisal, out of thousands of appraisals, after having made the slippery fellow lottsa money over the years…doing his crooked bidding…’else he would not sign off on my reports. Yes, I was part of his game, and I put up with it for far too long. “We’re not here to go to court; we’re here to make money” he would always say. I was to complete six appraisals per day (that is, inspected, written up and, delivered to the lenders by day’s end). Put that in your pipe and try to smoke it. (More about this later) My constant arguments with him over backroom deals cooked up with other appraisers and his penchant for “making the numbers work” in the case of banks’ requests that certain property value figures be “officially” ratified finally built up with him I guess, and he didn’t want me to be around once I was soon-to-be a fully fledged appraiser, not needing his signatures on my reports. The story gets much worse. It’s just waiting for a reason to go public. I know for a fact that other appraisal firms in town worked the same way, at least when dealing with our firm. The subject of this discussion is now retired, out of the business. I could have sunk him easily when working for him. Maybe I should have done just that.

          C’mon you appraiser pros! Have your say! Even better, let’s hear from a top A.I.C. official. How many crooked appraisers have you uncovered and turfed over the last fifteen years?

          What’s the name of that Simon and Garfunckle song? Oh yeah:….
          “Silence Is Golden”

          P.S.: How does an appraiser make the numbers work for SIX completed appraisals per day?

          Answer: It’s easy: Simply quickly pick three comparables that support the number requested and make it work. A university degree and susbsequent university courses to do that…SIX TIMES per day?

          Can you spell B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T ?

          BET YOU CAN!!

          That’s why I call the appraisal profession a BULLSHIT profession.
          I oughta know.

          Glad I went back into real estate until I retired. I was finally able to call my own shots.

          BTW: I had appraisers call me asking my opinion on certain property values thereafter. What a crock.

          OK all you appraisers…ya gonna stand for this public smearing of your profession? C,mon you A.I.C. power brokers; let’s get it on!
          You can check your records and find out who I am talking about…and who we dealt with in that town regarding appraisal firms.

          BTW: It’s in smaller towns where the problems really manifest. Every one knows one another. Wink-wink. Nudge-nudge.

          • Follow up to my Dec. 17, 12:31 p.m. post above:

            I’m on a roll now…

            This is important: Some readers might question my story. Here’s why they shouldn’t:

            My ‘mentor’, after having let me go, stated that I would have to wait to be paid up to date (he owed me over $5,000.) until the banks paid their invoices, which often took months. I went home and thought about that. Then I phoned him and said this: “Hey you so-and-so, I want a cheque delivered to me by this time tomorrow for the full $5,000.plus. Remember…I did EVERYTHING you ever asked my to do…EVERYTHING! GOT IT?” I hung up.

            The cheque was delivered personally, on time, next day. ‘Nuff said.

          • Brian, that is quite a story. I don’t think that AIC will challenge you. 6 appraisals plus reports a day would certainly keep you busy speeding around town. How many speeding tickets did you get? I am also retired and looking at some business opportunities that would be helpful for real estate buyers and sellers in protecting their interests. Realtors never Wink-wink / Nudge nudge one another! Do they!

  13. I would not be surprised if the sellers thought that the square footage of an attached garage should be included within the scope of the total square footage of the property, especially so if they purchased the property new from a builder and were thus innocently under that misconception in the first place. Nevertheless, ignorance of the law is no excuse—so they say—especially so when a subsequent purchaser is secondarily misled by the original sin.

    There is no mention within this story that the appraiser supplied an opinion of value satisfactory to the lender’s expectation of value for the purposes of providing the required mortgage amount. I am assuming that the appraiser did so, which raises another question: How did the appraiser justify the sale price against other recent sales in the area that only had 1,450 square feet? He would have had to include at least three recently-sold-comparables that had only 1,450 square feet within the comparables grid within his report. Therefore, it could be argued that the purchaser did indeed get full value for the price paid. Even so, I agree with the court’s decision. Negligence on the part of the agent actually lead to this miscommunication of reality. The agent should have been financially punished.

      • Hi Constantine:

        Thanks for your kind thoughts, especially the Brain part…which I must assume was a spelling error, because Shirley, I’m not. But I think there’s something in there, because every time i shake my head I hear a rattling sound.

        I replied to your post, but it ended up in Jim-the-editor-guy’s special drawer of flammable materials. Something about God giving man a brain and a penis, but only enough blood to run one at a time…etc. I think the etc. part did me in:-)

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