Feeling Frustrated!

Yesterday, a home in my neighborhood went up for sale.  I know it well.  When it hit the MLS, the agent cited the Square Footage as being “estimated” at 3,700SF.  Trust me.  On it’s biggest day, this is not 3,700SF.  Overnight, the house apparently shrunk.  Because, as of this morning, the house is now “estimated” to be 3,200SF.

While the SF in the MLS is closer to the actual square footage, it’s still not accurate.  Public Records indicate that this house is 2,577SF with an additional 525SF of below grade, finished basement.  If you look at the Assessor’s sketch on the Montgomery County site, the square footage calculates to 2,545SF.  For the sake of argument, let’s agree that the house is roughly 2,545 – 2,580SF.  These calculations are fairly accurate based on what I know of the house.

All real estate professionals have to be more careful.  We owe it to the public and our colleagues.  Estimating and guessing can be so misleading.  Lumping finished basement space into Above-Grade living space is also misleading.  Think about it.  Will your clients pay the same P/SF for the Rec Room in the basement with the drop ceiling and 1970’s paneling as they would for the Above-Grade space?  Probably not.  Take a look at how these numbers breakdown on a Price/SF basis based on a list price of $750,000.  (I know I preach against P/SF but, it’s an easily comparable metric that everyone seems to understand.)

Big difference, huh?  How would you like to be the person who buys what they think is a 3,200SF home for $750,000 (or $238/SF) only to find out that it’s actually 2,580SF at $238/SF?  That would indicate a value of $614,040.

Agents, as we begin 2020, please make it a habit of measuring your listings or having them measured.  Knowing the true Square Footage of your listings matters.  How you report that Square Footage matters.  Make it a business practice of separating Above-Grade living space from Below-Grade living space.

If you have any questions about measuring homes or what should or shouldn’t be included as living space, please feel free to contact me.

The Coyle Group’s team of Philadelphia appraisers are a leading provider of appraisals for Estate/Probate, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Tax Appeal and Pre-Listing. We also provide property measuring services.  If you need a guest speaker at your next sales meeting, please give us a call. We would welcome to opportunity to speak to your group and field any appraisal related questions you may have. For more information please visit our website at www.TheCoyleGroupLLC.com You can also contact The Coyle Group at 215-836-5500 or appraisals@coyleappraisals.com



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