Marketing Square Footage: Be Careful Not To Lie
A: This is a post for FSBO's and the brokerage community on how I feel about those who lie or round up in their marketing packages about a property's total square footage. Yes, a very specific post! I think it is a 'self-defeating' practice whose day is up, and if a client asks you to do this you should display your professionalism and refuse the exclusive.
It is such a different market out there right now than it was a year ago, and everything about how you market a property needs to be given a second thought to attract and eventually appease buyers as they come to your open houses and showings.
Maybe I'm wrong (and if so I would love to hear from you why), but in a market where the "power" or "dynamic" has shifted more into the hands of the buyers, we as brokers should ROUND DOWN the square footage instead of rounding up or flat out lying.I went to a showing last week with my clients to view a 3BR, 2BTH property that was said to be 1,600 square feet. I tell you this apartment was closer to 1,450 square feet, tops!
Why? Why do it. The look on my clients' faces of disappointment and frustration was clear from the moment they walked in. There is no way these people will even consider placing a bid when they were blatantly lied to. It also makes me look bad because my clients count on me NOT to waste their valuable time. The brokerage community must acknlowedge that buyers are smarter these days and have been on the sidelines viewing properties without bidding for them for months now. They know how big a 1,600 square foot apartment should look after seeing 12 of them already!
Buyers have more control now than they did a year ago! If anything you should advise your client to agree to under-estimate the square footage a bit and let buyers be 'pleasantly surprised' when they come for a showing. After all, happy buyers are more likely to submit an offer!
UrbanDigs Says: If the apartment is listed between 400-450 square feet in the offering plan than list it at 400! If the apartment is between 450-500 square feet in the offering plan than list it at 450! Use this strategy all the way up to high end listings too for as long as the overall market is flat and make buyers happy when they show up.
For Example: An apartment listed at 738 sq. ft. in the offering plan should be listed at 700 on the website and print ads. An apartment listed at 986 sq. ft. on the floorplan should be listed at 950 on the website and print ads.