Price Per Square Foot Unmasked

 Price per square footage analytics are generally a waste of time. Price per square foot is a number that boils down dozens of unique factors in a house or condo and attempts to bundle them into one tiny package. Unfortunately, all it really does is instill a false sense of confidence. It takes away all of the unique, broad, and interesting features of the home that allow us to effectively evaluate its worth and instead melts them into a beige, unremarkable mass.
Price per square foot is the equivalent of putting a cheeseburger, fries, and Coke into a blender and trying to charge $5 for the resulting “Happy Meal”. To lean on it as a means for supporting a valuation is lazy. It ignores view, geographic orientation, floor plan, upgrades, nearby amenities, and property condition and gives the impression that it can encompasses them all with a single number.
As real estate agents, we often struggle to explain this to our clients. They feel more informed when websites are crunching data into these easy-to-digest figures and often think we’re being disingenuous when we tell them to ignore statistics like price per square foot when evaluating a home for sale.  It seems illogical that this new information might actually be detrimental to their ability to evaluate a home, but unless they’re buying an entire neighborhood at once, it usually is.