Here is my recommendation to brokers when it comes to the insertion of the size of a property in a sale or lease from my experience of representing thousands of buyers, sellers, lessors and lessees.
Brokers representing a lessee or a buyer should always place in the offer the address of the property and the size of the building and or land parcel. It is the broker’s duty to protect the parties so that there is no misunderstanding of what they are purchasing or leasing. I even go so far as to have the parties measure the property themselves or employ the services of a surveyor.
As a broker representing a seller or lessor, we never comment on the size of the property with two exceptions:
The first exception is if the property is measured professionally and documented in writing or in a plan, then all parties should refer to that plan when responding to an offer or preparing a contract.
The second exception is if a property is placed on a Multiple Listing Service and describes the size, there is usually a disclaimer to the public not to rely upon that representation.
Properties are measured several different ways. Some examples are:
1. Exterior walls
2. Net useable square footage which is usually interior walls
3. Overhangs may be included in the square footage as well as patios
4. Easements which may impede the use of the property may also be included in the size
A tenant measured a space and found that the overhang represented 150-square-feet; as a result, they wanted four years credit for paying rent for that space from the landlord. The owner of the industrial building had to defend that an overhang was part of the square footage of the space. This example is a small size of space; however, one can imagine the cost if the size was substantially larger.