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Old 05-22-2010, 03:15 PM
 
50 posts, read 111,038 times
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I agree the square footage missing is a pain. We have our house for sale and it is 3200 or 3300 square feet. But the tax records show 2284 or something so that is what people will see if they search for our house. Who knows if people have ruled ours out because of the square footage that is inaccurate. Our realtor said people donít pay any attention to the square footage in Atlanta because everyone know the tax records are typically wrong. Some system! We are looking at moving to Houston and the main site is har.com. They do list the house square footage and lot size and it makes searching for a home faster because you can narrow what you are looking for. I am sure there have been discrepancies with other states. canít GA find a way? Even if they did a range of 1500-2000, 2000 - 2500 something like that to at least give people an estimate of square footage. All 4 bedroom homes are not the same size.
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:04 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,190 posts, read 29,645,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roterjo View Post
[color=black]Our realtor said people donít pay any attention to the square footage in Atlanta because everyone know the tax records are typically wrong.
I would say your Realtor is incorrect in assuming "everyone knows". I know plenty of people who think Zillow is a Bible when it comes to stuff like this even though I've told them time again it's very inaccurate with numbers.

My house on Zillow is listed with one less bathroom than it has, 300 square feet less than it has, and an incorrect home value, even though it's been accurately apprraised more than once. Same with the info on more than half the homes in the neighborhood. But on that flip-side I've known again, plenty of folks who will browse through Zillow and see these stats and go, "Oh, that one's too small, but look at this one!", which shows that no, not everyone knows these things are inaccurate.

It may have been mentioned already too, but also note that in Georgia, square footage is never listed for fully finished basements, either. So a house could have a family room, guest room, and full bath in the basement and if you do see footage listed, it won't list that whole area in the ad.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:10 AM
 
4,266 posts, read 2,854,228 times
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You would think that somewhere someone could come up with a standard and a way to measure square footage, and what to include. I mean, really...it's not rocket science. It's measuring the size of rooms and the house as a whole...very, very basic. Have the listing show finished vs. unfinished space for instance. There's no reason a finished basement shouldn't be listed. It's really just stupid, and just another example of people not wanting to give way to reality.
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:52 AM
 
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I've researched home websites across the southeast. Many realtor's sites have the total square footage listed--sometimes in a range--and also many list the size of the various rooms of the homes. Of course this can be incorrect, but it does give a buyer a general idea about the house. So I wouldn't waste my time visiting a 1,600 sq. fot. house if I am searching for a 2,500 sq. ft. house. Those photos on-line can be very deceiving and can make a home look much bigger or smaller, depending upon the skill of the photographer.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:32 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,190 posts, read 29,645,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staywarm2 View Post
Those photos on-line can be very deceiving and can make a home look much bigger or smaller, depending upon the skill of the photographer.
Sometimes it doesn't matter the quality/angle of the photo, though. There are homes in my own neighborhood that you would swear are in the 1600 square foot range, but due to additions in the back that aren't visible at all from the street, and/or basement additions, they can be up to twice that size in livable square footage. The old saying, "never judge a book by it's cover", is a good one when viewing web images of homes, or even when driving by them, too.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:46 AM
 
2,678 posts, read 5,086,434 times
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I find Zillow to be much more useful then most here. If the square feet is incorrect its because the data from the county they are feeding into is incorrect. If its incorrect more often then other states then its our county governments and its too bad, but I still find it a great tool. It as least gives you a good idea in most cases.

Other data on Zillow such as recent sales are a great resource for the average shopper that doesn't have access on their own to the full MLS.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Norman, OK
3,479 posts, read 6,197,185 times
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So, a realtor cannot provide an ESTIMATE on square footage for a house or condo, but they put inaccurate information like outdated HOA dues or storage unit inclusion/exclusion in their ads? Furthermore, why can lots of other areas put the sq. footage in? Are we going to say that only in Atlanta are the numbers inaccurate?

I think it's absolutely silly to exclude sq ft information. Drive me crazy too when I was looking for a condo.
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Old 05-24-2010, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Atlanta/Decatur/Emory area
1,320 posts, read 3,750,264 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxjay View Post
Furthermore, why can lots of other areas put the sq. footage in? Are we going to say that only in Atlanta are the numbers inaccurate?
Atlanta is probably not the only city with inaccurate data, but the reason why other areas have had square footage listed while Atlanta has excluded it for years is because the Atlanta multiple listing services were protecting themselves from liability following a successful lawsuit over inaccurate reporting of square footage. Other MLSs around the country may not have come up against that problem in the past -- the chances are that if they ever do, they'll remove square footage data too rather than risk additional lawsuits. If we didn't live in such a litigious society, companies like the MLSs (and real estate brokerages) wouldn't be so reactionary as to pull all square footage data from every listing because it can't be guaranteed as accurate. But when those companies provide listing data for tens or even hundreds of thousands of properties over the course of a year, that opens them up to a tremendous amount of liability if consumers are going to sue whenever the data may be wrong.

Square footage is a more complex concept than it seems on face value. For instance, developers measure square footage from the middle of walls so that a 1,000 square foot condo may "feel like" a 900 sq. ft. condo when measured from the surface of the walls rather than the middle of the walls. A buyer with a tape measure may feel like s/he was duped by the developer if s/he goes around measuring the condo him/herself. Also, because basement/sub-surface rooms are not included, it can lead to even more misunderstandings.

However, as I mentioned before, the Atlanta MLSs have recently added square footage back into their listing data. The data just has to come from an "official" source that gets defined as well in the data.

I certainly agree that it would be best if we all had one way of measuring property that everyone agreed to and understood, and that it would be best if tax assessor's data was accurate. It's not as though agents don't want to provide square footage (and most will provide tax assessor's data), we just don't want to be sued if the information we provide in good faith turns out to be inaccurate.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:02 PM
 
2,678 posts, read 5,086,434 times
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Most areas simply have a disclaimer stating its the buyers job to verify and it may not be accurate, or they use the term MOL (more or less).

As for builders using a different method, that is just wrong. Most realtors where I am from would only list actual finished square feet, plain and simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IntownHomes247 View Post
Atlanta is probably not the only city with inaccurate data, but the reason why other areas have had square footage listed while Atlanta has excluded it for years is because the Atlanta multiple listing services were protecting themselves from liability following a successful lawsuit over inaccurate reporting of square footage. Other MLSs around the country may not have come up against that problem in the past -- the chances are that if they ever do, they'll remove square footage data too rather than risk additional lawsuits. If we didn't live in such a litigious society, companies like the MLSs (and real estate brokerages) wouldn't be so reactionary as to pull all square footage data from every listing because it can't be guaranteed as accurate. But when those companies provide listing data for tens or even hundreds of thousands of properties over the course of a year, that opens them up to a tremendous amount of liability if consumers are going to sue whenever the data may be wrong.

Square footage is a more complex concept than it seems on face value. For instance, developers measure square footage from the middle of walls so that a 1,000 square foot condo may "feel like" a 900 sq. ft. condo when measured from the surface of the walls rather than the middle of the walls. A buyer with a tape measure may feel like s/he was duped by the developer if s/he goes around measuring the condo him/herself. Also, because basement/sub-surface rooms are not included, it can lead to even more misunderstandings.

However, as I mentioned before, the Atlanta MLSs have recently added square footage back into their listing data. The data just has to come from an "official" source that gets defined as well in the data.

I certainly agree that it would be best if we all had one way of measuring property that everyone agreed to and understood, and that it would be best if tax assessor's data was accurate. It's not as though agents don't want to provide square footage (and most will provide tax assessor's data), we just don't want to be sued if the information we provide in good faith turns out to be inaccurate.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:16 PM
 
1,652 posts, read 2,824,481 times
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Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
Ive hard the realtor being sued also, E/O if lots of realtor start getting sued because the sq is off by few feet or few dozen feet e/o rates will sky rocket, there will be some contigincy laywer who will do it. Many town assment sites (zillow feed from them) have the apx sq footage. also looking at a picture will give you a idea of the size of the house. When you look you can do your own sq footage number. most listing give the sized of the main rooms.
Seriously, stop blaming this stuff on lawsuits... why change this practice because of one successful lawsuit out of the millions of transactions that have taken place? It's one thing to be risk averse... it's another to try to eliminate risk altogether. There are a myriad of ways the realtor can protect themselves, including a huge disclaimer that says that Sq. Ft is an estimate and may be inacurrate and also by having the seller sign a waiver regarding sq. footage disclosure. I swear, it's insane how some industries react to negative news.
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