There is a reason why square footage for the same unit in the same line may be listed as different. That is because the definitive document on a co-op or condo is the offering plan. On co-ops it does not quote square footage, in condos it does. In a co-op offering plan it is the number of shares that is quoted. There are different ways of measuring square footage. Beyond that, some quotes are exaggerated or are rounded up. So if you are sure the footprint is the same, assume it is the same layout/square footage as yours.
Halstead Property, LLC
Regarding the fact that there are different methods of measuring mentioned below, I can tell you that a principal of Vanderbilt Appraisers, a very well-respected NYC appraisal firm once told my office that the correct way to measure a co-op is "paint to paint" whereas for a condo it is mid-party wall to mid-party wall and to the outside of outer walls.
More importantly though, is the fact that you state you are trying to price your co-op which leads me to believe you are going to sell it on your own. If this is so, you probably want to get the most money in the least amount of time. In order to do that you need to be priced correctly, but also to get the most exposure you can. For that I would strongly suggest you list your apt. with an experienced professional real estate agent with a firm with very comprehensive marketing capabilities.
Halstead Property, LLC
You can measure the usable floor space in the apartment excluding the floor space taken up by interior walls, built-ins or closets; you can measure the interior space including a few inches into the exterior walls, on the grounds that you are responsible for maintaining that space (wiring/plumbing) anyway; or you can measure the total floor space as if the apartment had no rooms, no closets, and no interior walls, but exclude a few inches into the exterior walls. Some combination of these strategies is also possible, of course.
All of these methods will give you different numbers. I prefer to measure the apartment using the last method, as if it had no interior walls or closets, but I do not include space projecting into the exterior walls. So in other words I think closets should be included in the square footage, because after all they are removable--yes, people do remove closets from Manhattan apartments! :)
So the discrepancy you're observing is not always a matter of sellers deliberately overstating the square footage--or brokers overstating square footage without consulting the seller! But these things certainly happen, too.
In my experience I have encountered sellers who were flat-out unwilling to be honest about the size of their properties, they wanted to overstate it. But that's not acceptable to an ethical broker.
The remedy is to create or obtain an *accurate* and *detailed* floor plan. The floor plan is the best way to communicate the size of your apartment to a potential buyer. A good floor plan--and some are quite poor--also communicates what kind of measuring system was used to come up with the dimensions.
I provide floor plans at no charge to my clients. I must add that the easiest way to get a good listing price for your apartment is to ask several real estate professionals to provide a Comparative Market Analysis. Once you get their numbers, you can average them, or simply choose a mid-range number, or choose the lowest number if you're in a hurry to sell, and the highest number if you're in no hurry. If I can help you further, please let me know.
Karla Harby, VP, Lic. Real Estate Salesperson
Charles Rutenberg Realty, New York City
Offering plans for a co-op do not quote square footage, they quote shares in the corporation. When you own a co-op, you own shares in a corporation, not real estate. Those shares come with a proprietary lease that enables you to occupy the apartment. For condos, however, they quote square footage because you actually own that unit in the form or real property. That is why she cannot check her offering plan to find out the square footage for her co-op.
Of course you could ask a couple of broker for a no-obligation consultation and market analysis. That would help you get an overall idea of the value.
Or go to NYChomevalues.org
Determing price per square foot is one way of helping you find out the market value of your coop apartment. However all square feet are not equal. The floor, view, renovations, condition can also play a factor.
Another possible way that may help figure out value is price per share. Apartments on higher floors usually have more shares allocated. Find recent closed sales and figure out the price per share. Divide the sale price by the mumber of shares. Compare to the amount of shares your apartment has.
Pricing an apartment in Manhattan is not an exact science. There are many variables. While pricing an apartment right is very important, the price you get is a function of the marketing you choose. If you need help selling your coop, please feel free to contact me. Best of luck.
Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group