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Standardizing Real Estate Listings

Some real estate agents are concerned the square footage will discourage people from visiting. Therefore they exclude it, allowing buyers to form their own perception of size.  The truth is that this usually backfires.
Including Square Footage

Canadian real estate is among the best in the world if it’s not the best already.

Despite fear-mongering from large organizations, consumer confidence is consistently at a high level.  This is due in part to many factors, including that it’s relatively well regulated and governed. However, there is still a very long way to go. This includes standardizing the required property data for real estate listing between real estate boards.

Ariel and I discussed our frustration with Real Estate Agents’ inconsistency listing the square footage in episode 111 of KT Confidential. Not only is it rarely provided, but it’s also often not accurate.

It boils down to one of two things; one, the Real Estate Agent is cheap.  As a result, they don’t want to spend the extra money to have their property measured.  Or, secondly, they are afraid that the square footage will negatively impact the sale of their property –insert lack of salesmanship here.

With stories of litigation surrounding misrepresented square footage, it will probably become mandatory.  The question then will be what’s the source and how was it calculated?  This topic will be saved for an entirely separate blog.

Why is The Square Footage not Listed?

Consumers want the information immediately.  They want transparency, and they don’t want to jump through hoops. If it is difficult to gather details, they’ll move on to something else.

Prohibitive Costs 

First of all, it’s not; the cost is very reasonable. Not to mention, in addition to providing the square footage, you get a floorplan.  This provides room dimensions and window placements. It gives insight into the layout and function of a house. It also helps buyers envision furniture layout and how they’ll use each room.

Having a floorplan in a listing mimics that of the experience of buying pre-construction. It’s an invaluable tool that helps sell real estate, one that homeowners should insist on.

The Fear of Inadequacy 

Some real estate agents are concerned the square footage will discourage people from visiting. Therefore they exclude it, allowing buyers to form their own perception of size.  The truth is that this usually backfires. Consumers want the information immediately.  They want transparency, and they don’t want to jump through hoops. If it is difficult to gather details, they’ll move on to something else.

Another risk is people may establish high expectations and become disappointed. Whereas the reverse often happens when disclosing the size. Low square footage often leaves buyers impressed with how spacious a home feels.

To Sum it Up

Include the square footage.  Embrace the size of your home and showcase its best features.  Don’t hide obvious deficiencies but don’t be afraid to address them either.  A positive swing can be put on anything and what you determine to be a fault may be another person’s hot-button.

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