reprise: the square foot problem, its obvious (!) solution, and the horror that it will not change

a long time ago on a blog very near at hand…
For some reason I had someone comment this week on a rather old Manhattan Loft Guy post, reminding me of that November 3, 2010, the square footage dilemma: REBNY "leads" by protecting brokers, not buyers. That’s a keeper that I should refer to more often, as it is my one attempt to systematically address the age old problem that the square footage measurements used in marketing apartments or lofts … (trying [again] to be gentle here …) lack credibility. That post was prompted by a then-recent REBNY memo to residential brokerages and agents about the problem that

often one of the key factors for a buyer in their decision to purchase is a calculation of the cost or price-per-square foot of an apartment or townhouse

As you will see in that post (and have probably already guessed) that REBNY all-hands memo made no attempt to help consumers on this issue, but provided detailed advice on how firms could avoid legal liability when they quote square footage measurements that turn out not to be accurate. In short, that advice is to tell

buyers that all square footage estimates are not to be relied upon

BUYER: how big is this unit?

AGENT: 1,200 sq ft, but you can’t rely on what I just told you

BUYER: is there anything that you say that I can rely on??

AGENT: ummm

That’s supposed to be a good business practice, poobah approved.

Of course I made a suggestion. Read the whole post, really. But here’s the money quote:

If (a) you don’t have a number in the Offering Plan, and (b) you don’t want to measure or pay someone to measure (it’s too hard!!), and (c) you don’t have another reasonable basis for estimating, then REBNY should have a rule that you cannot quote a measurement. At all.


Would this system be perfect? Hello??? Of course not. But it would be an improvement.

Note to self … link to the November 3, 2010 post any time I talk about the funky measurement issues regarding a particular loft.

© Sandy Mattingly 2012

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply