Styled, Staged & Sold

Bringing you the latest home design and staging trends. From REALTOR® Magazine.

The Question You Don’t Want From Buyers: What’s the Square Footage?

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

The Zillow Blog recently featured an interesting article by real estate pro Brendon DeSimone about how advertising the square footage of a home can derail a deal. It may make you rethink featuring the square footage on your listings.

There are no universal methods to measuring square footage, according to DeSimone. As such, the numbers in measuring a home’s size can sometimes get skewed--even appraisers may arrive at different figures. A city’s tax records may not offer up an accurate picture either, since it may omit renovations and expansions made to the property over the years. And the square footage listed on records pulled from architectural drawings of the home are considered “wall out” measurements, including the entire space to the exterior wall. Once the walls are in place, the square footage will likely be lower.

As DeSimone notes in the article, “dozens of lawsuits make it to court, and tens of thousands of dollars are spent arguing over as little as 50 square feet.”

If you feel a need to list the square footage for a home you’re trying to sell, you’d be wise to add a disclaimer like “appraiser’s estimation” or “per tax records,” DeSimone suggests.

Have you ever had a square footage dispute unravel one of your deals?

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REALTOR® Magazine is the official magazine of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and the business tool for real estate professionals.