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Any Luck Getting Realtors To "show Their Work" When Computing GLA?

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Gulf Coast

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Feb 4, 2013
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Florida
I've sent in multiple emails to our local MLS trying to make it a requirement for Realtors to "Show their work" when they come up with square footage for a home. When I do it, it's usually after I appraise a home that is or has been listed and the GLA is way different from what the MLS shows. I give the MLS board both GLA's and then show them the Realtor's GLA usually comes from a tax card that hasn't been updated in 30+ years. I try explaining how incorrect GLA's only hurt the Realtors in the end (when appraisers use them as comps over and over without verification). For example, if the Realtor overstates a GLA it may help them to sell the home but if an appraiser uses that number for comp info over and over again, it only brings down the value of what is being appraised (assuming more GLA equals larger value). To make a long story short, they won't do it. Any thoughts? Any similar experiences? Solutions?
 
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Terrel L. Shields

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Arkansas
Our Realtors NEVER measure. It is a liability thing. They say "courthouse records" - meaning the assessor's sketch; or, "owner" - they never take responsibility for the GLA. We have one that states "owner" that simply adds the basement SF to the GLA, or a sunroom or enclosed porch, ditto. Or add a granny flat to the GLA. I don't blame them considering the number of buyer's remorse lawsuits claiming they expected a bigger house than they got. The number never comes from the Realtor measuring it.
 

J Grant

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Dec 9, 2003
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Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I've sent in multiple emails to our local MLS trying to make it a requirement for Realtors to "Show their work" when they come up with square footage for a home. When I do it, it's usually after I appraise a home that is or has been listed and the GLA is way different from what the MLS shows. I give the MLS board both GLA's and then show them the Realtor's GLA usually comes from a tax card that hasn't been updated in 30+ years. I try explaining how incorrect GLA's only hurt the Realtors in the end (when appraisers use them as comps over and over without verification). For example, if the Realtor overstates a GLA it may help them to sell the home but if an appraiser uses that number for comp info over and over again, it only brings down the value of what is being appraised (assuming more GLA equals larger value). To make a long story short, they won't do it. Any thoughts? Any similar experiences? Solutions?

There is no solution . RE agents are not appraisers and never need "Show their work" . They almost never measure for reasons Terell said, it's a liability thing. And yes they inflate sf on listings on MLS as well as what they present to buyers which is disgraceful. But, look at it as a form of job security. If RE agents were factual in every way on MLS we would not be needed, the MLS results would be so reliable that raw data could be used for evaluations.

My area has public records sf and flooprlans so t's easy to see where a RE agent inflated sf, or call and ask them did you include the garage etc.

I know you mean well but stop trying to educate or change them, they are sales people and 90% of them have no interest in the facts if facts get in the way of their getting a listing or getting a listing shown or getting a sales contract.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

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Colorado
Same with agents here. They use "what is of public record" rather than measuring. Some years back the board attorney advised agents not to measure and to use other sources such as public record, old appraisal, or even prior listings as a source in order to limit liability.

I have good rapport with most of the local agents as I have been a member of the board of REALTORS® for more than 40 years and am a REALTOR® Emeritus. Their major concern lately has been the length of time it is taking to get a VA appraisal. Currently it is 5 to 6 weeks. I received 3 assignments on Monday (10/31) and the dates on the 1805s (Request for a VA appraisal) were in the last in the last week of September. Too many assignments...too few VA appraisers in Colorado. To solve the problem the VA has raised the fees from $450 to $750 and have started an aggressive recruiting program.

At last count we had 26 appraisers on the panel for my county (El Paso) and that is one of the highest number for a single county in the United States. The regional office is trying to add another 10 before the end of the year. My only concern is what will happen when we get back to a normal market once interest rates go back up.
 

Restrain

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Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Most stopped measuring in the 80's when they started being sued over SF discrepancies and switched to tax records, so there is no work 'to be shown'. In this area, there aren't even sketches on the tax records of condominium units.
 

Howard Klahr

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Oct 4, 2004
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
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Florida
In this area, there aren't even sketches on the tax records of condominium units.
There are in the condo declarations recorded in the public records

I try explaining how incorrect GLA's only hurt the Realtors in the end
Interestingly enough, the real estate markets managed to exist before you arrived on the seen and will continue to exist after you are long gone.

Realtor's GLA usually comes from a tax card that hasn't been updated in 30+ years.
Yes that data in the MLS in most markets within Florida are based on the information populated from the county assessor office. Is this new information for you?
 

J Grant

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
What I always think is funny is if public records shows 2000 sf total and then 1600 sf under air, and clearly there is a garage on public records, the RE agent will use the 2000 sf on MLS. Surely they must know the interior 1600 sf excludes the garage (on sketch in tax rolls and broken out in area )

Not all of them do that kind of thing, but a good number. As I said, job security for us ferreting through the antics they pull to make houses seem larger .
 

AMF13

Elite Member
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Jan 24, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
Resistance is futile.
It is up to you to sort out fact from myth from outright lie. :peace:
 

Restrain

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Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
The bad automated population of data is why the wife double-checks the square footage with tax sketches. Is the lanai included in GLA, is the data the GBA and not the GLA, etc. takes longer but the report is much more solid.
 
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