Realtor Lori Clark initially listed the property as having 2,500 square feet of total floor area, but Whelan noted that this figure turned out to have been actually inflated by 25 per cent from the actual 2,094 square feet.
Whelan claimed that the significant discrepancy made her realize that she actually lost money when she was considering selling the property around five years after she bought it.
“I had invested a lot of money in the home,” Whelan told CBC News
. “Had I been presented with the more accurate square footage, I could have made a more educated guess on whether or not I wanted to proceed in purchasing the home.”
She finally sold the property in 2014 for $775,000, after a lawsuit determined that the property’s value sat at only $840,000 despite her claims of extensive and continuous upgrades to the home.
“I lost my retirement,” Whelan lamented. “I went as far as I could go. I exhausted every avenue that I could.”
“When you're buying a home — being the biggest investment of your life — just be very, very careful,” she warned.
The RECA concluded that Clark misrepresented the home’s living area, but added that “there is no evidence to support this mistake was done intentionally.” The Council gave Clark an advisory note, which does not include actual sanctions.
For her part, Clark maintained that she had no ill intent in the sale, having “no explanation as to how this transpired.”
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In a complaint filed at the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA), Calgary local Pam Whelan said that she was misled by her realtor when the latter misrepresented the living space of the home that Whelan purchased for $800,000 in 2007.