Square Footage Out of Control Who’s Measuring America? OR Thomasville, Ga?

798589_1373302006960_oThree different information sources, three different square footage totals. Whether you’re refinancing or buying a home, if one of these inconsistent totals is used in your appraisal as a comparable sale, it can significantly change your property value. These differences in square footage create very real differences in value and happen much more frequently than most people imagine. From large metropolitan areas to small rural communities, this misinformation is changing people’s financial futures. This problem is rarely discussed and the real estate industry works hard to keep it that way. Without an easy solution, square footage is often considered a topic best 

left alone. hree different information sources, three different square footage totals. Whether you’re refinancing or buying a home, if one of these inconsistent totals is used in your appraisal as a comparable sale, it can significantly change your property value. These differences in square footage create very real differences in value and happen much more frequently than most people imagine. From large metropolitan areas to small rural communities, this misinformation is changing people’s financial futures. This problem is rarely discussed and the real estate industry works hard to keep it that way. Without an easy solution, square footage is often considered a topic best left alone. 

Real estate agents are creating new ways to avoid the square footage discussion altogether. More and more often, all across the country, agents are choosing to use the square footage information listed in public records for their MLS listings; instead of measuring the property themselves or having someone else take the measurements for them. Even some appraisers are now including their own sketch of the property in their reports, but including a disclaimer that they are using public records as the main source of square footage details for the subject property, and all comparable sales. Their logic is simple. By providing information this way, they provide comparisons based on what they perceive to be consistent measurements; all taken by the same methodology or standard, and provided exclusively by local tax departments. Since this public records database is often providing their main information source (with less dependence on MLS for sqft info), these appraisers believe using this single source for property information will offer them more home accurate comparisons and valuations.eal estate agents are creating new ways to avoid the square footage discussion altogether. More and more often, all across the country, agents are choosing to use the square footage information listed in public records for their MLS listings; instead of measuring the property themselves or having someone else take the measurements for them. Even some appraisers are now including their own sketch of the property in their reports, but including a disclaimer that they are using public records as the main source of square footage details for the subject property, and all comparable sales. Their logic is simple. By providing information this way, they provide comparisons based on what they perceive to be consistent measurements; all taken by the same methodology or standard, and provided exclusively by local tax departments. Since this public records database is often providing their main information source (with less dependence on MLS for sqft info), these appraisers believe using this single source for property information will offer them more home accurate comparisons and valuations.

You would definitely want to read more if you are looking to buy a new or existing home. Square footage is being played with a lot to make a new or existing home more attractive to buyers.

Sample: A new home is advertised at 2,724 sq. ft. but the home has really 2,266 sq. ft.
So what looks better?

Fake Square footage 2,724 sq. ft. X $100.00/per sq. ft. = $275,000 Wow that is a good price.

Now Actual Square Footage 2,266 sq. ft. / $275,000 = $121 Sq. Ft.

So $100.00/per square foot looks better then the actual $121.00/per square foot.

Read More:

http://www.housemeasures.com/ArticlePages/Square-Footage—Out-of-Control.html

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Comments

By Ann Ryan,  Mon Jul 8 2013, 09:56

One item that you haven’t discussed is why there is a significant difference in square footage. In Miami, the main reason we see significant deviation from the Tax Roll is that an owner (not necessarily the current owner) has built an addition to the property but not done so with the proper permits and inspections. This leaves the buyers in the situation where they may be subject to fines, significant costs for reconstruction, or even the complete demolition of part of their home. For that reason, it is safest to rely on the tax roll for the information, although there are usually indicators in the MLS to signal what has occurred. For example, “Owner states square footage significantly larger than tax roll”.

By Jennifer Ratcliff,  Mon Jul 8 2013, 10:13

Excellent post!

By Marlene Bienes,  Mon Jul 8 2013, 10:16

Very informative and a big problem in certain areas. This is mainly done to make the price seem like a great deal but buyer beware if not address during the due diligence period it maybe just to late. This is why buyers should hire a buyer’s agent so this is not overlooked. A buyer’s agent works exclusively on the buyer’s behalf. I believe that if agents are members of a board MLS these discrepancies should be reported. By not doing so is deceiving consumers on purpose. I for one get calls with square footage issues from around the country. So, it’s an issue everywhere.

By Marlene Bienes,  Mon Jul 8 2013, 10:22

In addition, Ms Ryan is correct. In my area bonus rooms are finished after the building permits are closed and no additional permits are pulled. The other big problem I see in my area is new homes are built and since there is not public record information yet and the MLS square footage ends up being more than what the plan square footage is. I feel sorry for the buyers that take the MLS information as accurate.

By Capital Home Builders,  Mon Jul 8 2013, 10:36

Hello and thank you for your comments and you guys are right, but as a builder and also hold a Real Estate license in FL. and GA. I have seen some Realtor’s over indulge on square footage for their builders and clients.

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