Square Pegs into
Round Irregular Holes
The input field on MLS for room sizes asks for two numbers: the room’s width and its length.
Which works great if a room is rectangular.
But what if it’s not?
If the room has a dormer, is L-shaped, curved, or otherwise defies a standard “width x length” measurement, it’s a bit more challenging.
Squaring the Circle
I don’t know about other Realtors, but my usual way of dealing with such a room consists of three steps: 1) break the room up into “constituent” rectangles that capture its dimensions; 2) total up the square footage of said rectangles; and 3) convert that into a width and length that equal the same square feet.
Is that kosher?
Put it this way: I’ve never had an issue in 17+ years representing Sellers (Buyers, too).
In practice, my experience has been that if a home’s square feet and room dimensions seem plausible (if not conservative), Buyers are fine with it.
And if the stats do not seem plausible . . . there are usually other problems with the listing besides just overstated square feet and room dimensions.
P.S.: is a room with 12â€² ceilings bigger than one with 8â€² ceilings?
Which is a good argument for measuring by 3-D volume, vs. 2-D square feet.
See also, “The House That Shrank“; “Too Good to Be True“; “Misstating a Home’s Square Feet”; “Exaggerated Square Footage“; “Home on a Diet“; and “17 Reasons (at least) Why It’s Never a Good Idea to Exaggerate a Home’s Square Feet.”