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Should you list square footage for a co op apartment in NYC?

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  • Should you list square footage for a co op apartment in NYC?

    is it true that the square footage in an ad for a co-op apartment sale in NYC should not be posted? I've heard this from multiple real estate listing agents selling coops in New York City.

  • #2
    Hi Margaret, a lot of agents in NYC will refuse to list what the square footage is for coop apartments because of liability reasons. But just as many listing agents in NYC will not be afraid to list a square footage number, even if it's just an estimate. The smart ones who list an estimated square footage that can't be backed up by hard documentation will usually have a disclaimer such as the following at the bottom of their listing description:

    Disclaimer: Square footage numbers are only estimates. If a potential purchaser is concerned about the square footage of the property, purchaser must engage a professional to assist him or her in calculating and understanding the methodology of calculating square footage.

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    • margaret
      margaret commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes! Thank you very much!

  • #3
    The short answer is no, there is no law I'm aware of that prohibits you from listing square footage in a co op apartment sale listing, even if it is just an estimate. In fact, plenty of coop apartment sales have a square footage number listed if you do a casual property search on any NYC property website.

    I think the reason that some listing agents will not list a square footage number is either they are being overly cautious (perhaps they work for a big firm that just has too many corporate rules), or they truly have zero idea.

    However, having a square footage number is always helpful for a listing, as many buyers screen for listings based on price per square foot, or for a minimum apartment size. The only time it might not be helpful is if you are marketing a very overpriced listing and you want to hide how small it is.

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    • margaret
      margaret commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you!

  • #4
    Believe it or not, some real estate listing agents in NYC for coops will have square footage figures listed that are not even estimates, but more resembling wild guesses. We've heard reasons for an apartment sized listed ranging from that's what the owner guessed it was to that's what the last listing agent for a unit of the same line in the building listed it for.

    It's more rare to hear a listing agent actually be able to backup a coop apartment listing's square footage. Unlike condos, you can't simply look up their property tax bills online to see what the NYC Department of Finance thinks the square footage is. You'd have to find is in the coop building's documents, such as the original coop offering plan (https://www.hauseit.com/offering-pla...ps-condos-nyc/).

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    • margaret
      margaret commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you!

  • #5
    Believe it or not, square footages can even be controversial for condos despite the fact that the square footage is listed in the offering plan and NYC Dept. of Finance. Often times the true interior square footage will be larger or smaller than what's in the offering plan. The offering plan explains the methodology for the calculations, however some buyers or sellers will dispute the figure and claim that the actual apartment is larger/smaller.

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    • #6
      I saw this disclaimer in a new construction offering plan recently, and thought that this might actually be better than some of the other, more standard disclaimers you'll see in listing descriptions:

      Any floor plan or sketch shown to a prospective purchaser is only an approximation of the dimensions and layout of a typical apartment. The original layout of an apartment may have been altered. All apartments and terraces appurtenant thereto are being offered in their `as is' condition. Accordingly, each apartment should be inspected prior to purchase to determine its actual dimensions, layout and physical condition.

      There have apparently be cases where a disgruntled buyer sued both the broker and the sponsor for misrepresentation, because the marketing floor plan overstated the square footage by as much as 25%. However, because of the above language in the offering plan and similar language in the contract where the sponsor makes no other representations and that the unit is being sold is, the case was dismissed!

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