Home Selling in 17403>Question Details

Melissa, Home Buyer in 22407

Houses in our neighborhood have inflated their square footage so that it appears a larger home has sold at a lower price. What can we do about this?

Asked by Melissa, 22407 Thu Apr 1, 2010

We told a realtor, whom we have not yet signed with, that homes in our area have listed their square footage at 200 to 400 more. We live in a "cookie cutter" development and our home is a larger design than these claiming more area. This realtor basically said oh well. If we determine our listed square footage is wrong, what do we need to do to get it corrected with the county? Or, on our listing can we have it listed as "owner provided" sq ft?

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Hi Melissa -
You have received many good suggestions. To answer one of your questions, yes, there is a place on our listing paperwork that allows us to put in that the square footage is provided by the owner. I have also calculated estimated square footage for clients. Additionally, I measure every room of the house and include that information in the multi-listing system.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 2, 2010
In my area appraisers provide a square footage estimate using gla(gross living area) finished above grade living space which excludes unheated areas(patios,porches,garages,etc.). This service is typically around $100 or so. Ask an appraiser. Best of luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 1, 2010
The problem with square footage measurements is that there is no absolute standard. For this reason, many agents are reluctant to include the square footage since there is no standard as to how to measure.
Personally, I wish there was but until there is, I prefer just to give room dimensions and leave it at that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 1, 2010
I disagree... if your appraiser knows the purpose of your appraisal she will give a very educated idea of your value. The minimal $350 you will spend may save you thousands if you underprice based on a possibly less educated opinion from a Realtor and many months of inconvenience if you overprice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 1, 2010
I would not advise my client to pay $350. for an appraisal when an experienced agent can provide you with home comparables. This should include not only homes that have sold, but homes that are currently on the market. An appraisal only takes into consideration the sold prices, not what your current competition is.

I don't know how the Florida real estate practices, but in Pennsylvania it is illegal for a Realtor to receive any compensation other than from their Broker. We do not charge for photos or any other advertising and we don't get paid unless we sell your home.

Real estate regulations vary from state to state. Remember to seek advice of someone that is familiar with the real estate market in your area.

The Riddle Team
Dayne & Sharon Riddle
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 1, 2010
Dear Melissa,

To get a "true" idea of what your house is worth. I would not rely on Realtor estimates of value. Unfortunately some Realtors will suggest a price that is clearly too high so they can "lock" you in to a listing agreement with the intention of ultimately getting you to lower your price to the "real" market price. Alternatively there are some Realtors who will encourage you to "underprice" your listing to allow an easy and quick sale. Both of these scenarios work against your best interest.

If you think you can just lower your price to meet the market you may ultimately sell for less than if you had correctly priced your house from the beginning. New listings get the most showings in the first week so if you are perceived as being overpriced versus your competition, you will not get an offer. Then your house will languish on the market for several months or a year and then after several price reductions you will eventually sell.

Don't make this mistake. Pay the $350 to a licensed appraiser (ideally an appraiser that you find that lives in your area) and tell the appraiser why you're hiring her/him. then price your house just slightly above the appriasal to allow a little room for negotiating. then select the Realtor that presents homes well via http://www.Realtor.com in your area. I've seen Realtors charging top dollar that do not even have appealing photos on Realtor.com.

Good luck and hurry before the april 30th First Time Homebuyer deadline passes!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 1, 2010
As an agent we always check the tax records to our own measurements. Our goal is to accurately represent your property. Some agents unfortunately just don't know what or how to report the sq ft correctly. When we use neighboring homes to determine you're homes value we often "adjust" the sq ft that is reported because we know it to be wrong. If you would like a honest and true value of you're home and the data to back it up please contact us. Thank you and have a great day.

The Riddle Team
Dayne & Sharon Riddle
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 1, 2010
Bill's right - there's nothing that can be done about how the other homes are listed, BUT... not only can you provide the square footage and mark it that way on the MLS sheet, it can be marked as BY MEASUREMENT, and the REALTOR can actually measure your square footage and mark it that way, too. And yes, you should contact the County Assessment Office and find out what needs to be done to have the record corrected, and have that done. NOTE: that will probably then change your Tax Assessment, changing your taxes on the property, as well.
Good Luck! If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me.
Paula Burt
Keller Williams Keystone Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 1, 2010

unfortunately not much you can do about other listings but you can absolutely mark the square footage source as owner supplied. If you find the tax records are incorrect you can contact the county tax assesment department and ask them what you should do.

Good luck.
Web Reference: http://Www.moveyork.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 1, 2010
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