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Why do brokers always lie about square footage?

OK buyers, I know that seeing “estimated” and inflated square footage numbers makes you crazy — it’s like being in a world of personal ads where everyone is “great-looking” and “sexy,” but turn the tables for a minute, and pretend you’re selling.

You would prefer your real estate agent to:

A) exaggerate/lie outright, as has historically been done with coops (”I was told it was 1200 square feet when I bought it, what do you mean it’s 1050?”)

B) simply rise to the inflated standards of the market (”that one down the hall says it’s 1100, and it’s smaller than mine”)

C) say nothing and be ignored by buyers who distrust anything with no listed square footage (”why am I not getting any traffic at the open houses? What’s wrong with your ad?”)

or D) list footprint square footage, which puts every co-op (which measures between wall distances) at a disadvantage to every condo (which measures distances that include the thickness of the walls) (”why, this 1050-square-foot condo is WAY smaller than my 1050-square-foot co-op”)

I pick “C” for my listings, and I hand buyers a floorplan with laser-tape-measured dimensions on it, and they STILL ask for me square footage quotes. Constantly.

My new response is “Well, a broker from another firm said it was X, so you can use that for comparative purposes, but if you want to multiply all the dimensions on the floorplan it won’t add up to that.”

Posted in For Buyers 11 years, 5 months ago at 12:59 pm.

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