Expect buyers to ask these pointless questions

"Why are they moving," buyers invariably want to know.

When I accompany a buyer to see a property or overhear others at an open house, I know I can count on the same two questions being asked.

First, what’s the square footage?

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Continue reading

Don’t expect brokers to disclose square footage

Any broker who provides a listing’s square footage verbally or in writing — even with a disclaimer — has to be chastened by one buyer’s latest victory.

As the indefatigable Christine Haughney reported in yesterday’s New York Times, a couple who sued a major Brooklyn developer over 109 “missing” square feet in a condo just walked away with their deposit plus $150,000 Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: The Big Apple and Beyond

This holiday-weekend combined post is your chance to catch up with news included to inform, enlighten and perhaps even entertain you.  You’ll find Out and About early next week and additional posts every day except President’s Day as usual.


Four years ago, Rishi Bhandari and his fiancée put down a deposit on a condo in Downtown Brooklyn. The price was $795,000, for a two-bedroom two-bathroom apartment, reports the New York Times.

But just before they were to close, Continue reading

Gee, no one knows that square footage is an issue

(Flickr photo by Biking Nikon PDX)

Every now and then, I’m surprised by the New York Times.

Last weekend’s Real Estate section caught me off balance as well.  The newspaper of record hauled out a dried up chestnut to devote its lead story and more than a full page to the matter of calculating square footage.

If you don’t know by now Continue reading

Square footage is the bane of everyone’s existence

One of the city’s biggest brokerages recently advised its agents and associate brokers to stop providing square footage with their listings.  The action followed a horrific spike in lawsuits claiming that the numbers were overstated.

Floor plan of an apartment for which the total square footage appears in the listing but without a disclaimer. The floorplan itself provides caveats.

While it’s true that there are those brokers (and any number of individuals in other situations) who will exaggerate size intentionally for the obvious reason, it is equally true that automatically generated measurements can be wrong: garbage in, garbage out.

That’s because Continue reading