Archuleta v. Santa Fe BOR: Santa Fe Board of REALTORS® Settles Case Arising Out of Inaccurate Acreage Figure in MLS

In a matter filed in the District Court of Santa Fe County, New Mexico, the Plaintiff filed a claim for negligent misrepresentation arising out of an inaccurate acreage figure in a MLS book. The parties settled prior to trial.

Rodriguez (seller) contracted with Lee, of Alan Lee Real Estate (ALRE), and Garcia and Yoder, of Century 21, to sell her home. According to information published in the Santa Fe Board of REALTORS® MLS book, the property consisted of two acres. The same figure appeared in a property information form and a listing agreement. Archuleta (purchaser) sought to buy property, and indicated that he required a lot with enough area to construct a rental house. He eventually contracted to purchase the Rodriguez property. After purchase, Archuleta discovered the property contained only 0.955 acres. Archuleta then sued Rodriguez, Lee, ALRE, Garcia, Yoder, Century 21 and the Santa Fe Board of REALTORS® for negligent misrepresentation.

This case settled prior to trial. While the total amount of the settlement was not available, the case cost the Santa Fe Board of REALTORS® settlement costs plus attorney fees. Although the Board had no knowledge of the inaccuracy of the acreage information on the MLS sheet, it incurred costs and had potential liability for being the publisher of inaccurate information. This case illustrates the problems inherent with listing acreage, square footage, lot size, etc. on a MLS sheet.

Archuleta v. Santa Fe BOR®, Complaint No. SF 90-1276(C) (N.M. Dist. Ct. Santa Fe County 1990). [Note: This opinion was not published in an official reporter and therefore should not be cited as authority. Please consult counsel before relying on this opinion.]