New York does not have one MLS (I belong to 7) and some of the localized practices strike me as a little crazy. Here is a list of selected silliness from some of the numerous market areas. Some are the agents themselves, some are actual policy.
- In Dutchess County, the Mid-Hudson MLS publishes square footage including the basement. Therefore, a 1500 square foot ranch is listed in that system as being 3000 square feet.
- On Long Island, square footage is almost never published, except for lot size. They seldom use acreage.
- In Rockland County, you get square footage sometimes, other times it is purposely redacted by the listing agent and changed to "0." I forget the reason, but it is dumb in my view.
- Westchester goes in the other direction. In the Westchester-Putnam MLS, we are actually required to disclose the source of the square footage (field measured, public records, appraisal). If our source is the public records, that is only allowed if the software autopopulates the field.
- Manhattan apartments must have a floor plan published. Great idea. No other area requires this in spite of the huge number of apartment-style condos and co ops outside Manhattan.
NYSAR should resolve to standardize the calculation of square footage, and my suggestion would be above grade living space (i.e., NOT a garage). Raised ranches could be an exception so long as the area is finished and legal.
I don't see why this is so complicated. Length times width.