Will The Real Square Footage Please Stand Up

Given our local MLS returns the square footage as a range instead of a value, it’s difficult to offer this parameter for search and I wanted to know a “rule of thumb” in how others are interpreting this range, to potentially advise our engineers on how to handle these ranges to get a single value capable of search, or redesign the data for min/max in case other markets do the same thing.  I asked one of our staff to surf the web yesterday and pick 5 random listings and share with me what square footage the MLS, a couple large area brokers, and the major portals all display.  What we discovered is there appears to be no “rule of thumb” and the values vary.

Above you can see that some brokers display their own listings with exact counts, but other listings with the ranges delivered by the MLS.  It also appears that some brokers syndicate their data to some portals, and others are making guesses or receiving bad data.  Some are not even within the MLS range.

I’m still trying to find the happy medium and wonder if a feed doesn’t deliver an estimated total and instead a range (a string instead of integer value that requires additional processing), is there a “rule of thumb” to standardize on to allow agents and consumers to search for listings by square footage.