The Tale of the “Larger” Home



Let me take you back to a property I once appraised. The MLS Listing advertised the home as a cozy 1,300 square feet. However, upon measurement, it was only a 1,000-square-foot dwelling. Sure, the market was on an upswing, and the list price fortunately equated to the market value, but what if the market had been stagnant or declining?

The discrepancy could have had serious repercussions. The potential buyers were under the illusion that they were getting a larger home. Realtors, let this be a cautionary tale. Accurate measurements are not just optional; they are critical. Let’s dive in.


The ANSI Standard: A New Measure of Accountability

As of 2022, appraisers are mandated to follow the ANSI® Z765-2021 standard, also known as the ANSI standard, for measuring homes. This standard covers everything from the gross living area to non-gross living areas like basements and additional structures. Fannie Mae’s selling guidelines are crystal clear: if your appraisals require interior and exterior inspections, you must adhere to this standard. Failure to do so renders the appraisal unacceptable.

Why is this important for realtors? Because it sets a standardized framework that you should also be following. If appraisers have to be this meticulous, why shouldn’t you? This leads me to my next point.


Taking Action: Measure Twice, List Once

If you find yourself in doubt, don’t hesitate to get your listing measured. I offer this service and am more than happy to assist. However, it’s not just about outsourcing; you can also take matters into your own hands. Measuring a home isn’t rocket science, but it does require careful attention to detail.

Here are some tools you might consider to ensure accurate measurements:
– Laser Distance Measurer: For quick and precise measurements.
– CubiCasa – a digital resource to create floor plans
– A Clipboard and Graph Paper: The old-fashioned but effective way to jot down measurements as you go.

Conclusion: The True Value of Accuracy

Remember, when a buyer or seller is looking at a home, they are envisioning a future, a lifestyle. Your listing sets the stage for that vision. An inaccurate listing not only disrupts that vision but could potentially lead to legal complications. In this ever-evolving industry, staying ahead means adapting to changes and upholding high standards of accuracy and integrity.

As the old adage goes, “Measure twice, cut once.” In our world, it’s more like, “Measure twice, list once.” May we all strive for this level of diligence in our practice.