Localized Craziness

Real Estate Broker/Owner with J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY License # 49FA1074963

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.  



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Suzanne Gantner
Sky Realty, Central Texas Real Estate - Round Rock, TX

Man that would drive me crazy!!  Luckily, here in the Austin area, sq. ftage is a big deal. 

May 31, 2010 10:12 AM #1
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate market

Oh, it would be very complicated for me.  I stunk at math in school.  But seriously, what are they thinking.  Pretty soon the whole of California will have one MLS.  Southern California practically does now.

May 31, 2010 10:12 AM #2
Kent Dills
Broker, Dills Real Estate - Bellingham, WA
Real Estate 817-495-8028, Bellingham, Washington

I'm dizzy just from reading about all the different policies for one topic/issue!  Better you than me Phil!  ;-)

May 31, 2010 11:25 AM #3
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Which is precisely why I don't sell homes by square feet.


May 31, 2010 12:21 PM #4
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I would never be able to keep this straight.  I'd have to have a cheat sheet for every property.

May 31, 2010 05:07 PM #5
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

I like looking at floorplans because you can really get a sense of the space and flow of an apartment or home.  You know if a master bedroom can fit a king sized bed or if the kitchen is galley style or eat in.

Jun 01, 2010 11:16 AM #6
Jim Cheney
Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA - Santa Rosa, CA
Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055

As Jane said above, California is progressing toward having one big MLS.  Right now we can search other MLS systems in the state, which does require a certain amount of uniformity.  Seems like a shame to have to pay for 7 different Multiple Listing Services.

Jun 02, 2010 04:43 AM #7
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL - (561) 716-7824 - CRS, ABR, GRI

We have the same type problem here in south Florida as you. 

Regional MLS, which is Palm Beach County, requires square footage be entered.  The Fort Lauderdale board does not.  Since I'm in the Boca/Delray area, I often overlap the counties and have to use the Fort Lauderdale MLS.  In fact, we have the same MLS but it looks completely different.  Pets are a required field in Palm Beach; again, not in Fort Lauderdale. 

I can relate.  It gets a little crazy at times doing double work. 

Jun 02, 2010 01:43 PM #8
Derenda Grubb
CENTURY 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s - Lake Charles, LA

Your post makes me appreciate my local market with one MLS.  We do not require the source of the square footage but I can see the advantages.

Jun 05, 2010 10:31 AM #9
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