29,000 Foot Peaks and 3,000 FSF Houses

What do 29,000 foot mountain peaks and 3,000 finished square foot (“FSF”) houses have in common?

They don’t exist. Or at least, almost never.*

When I see a house listed on MLS (“Multiple Listing Service”) with 3,010 FSF (or 2,043 FSF, or similar), I’m immediately skeptical. My thought is, the Realtor knows that Buyers tend to look in discrete ranges — like over 3,000 FSF, 2,000 to 2,500 FSF, etc. — and tend to “stretch” sometimes to meet those cut-off’s.

I can’t prove it, but I’d guess that at least half the time, when a house on MLS just trips an obvious round number, in fact, it’s real size is below it (sometimes, well below).

*I heard a story — not sure if it’s apocryphal or not — that the surveyors who first measured Mount Everest came up with exactly 29,000 feet. However, because they thought that “headquarters” would automatically assume that they’d rounded, they changed the number to 29,029 feet.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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