The Real Estate Standards Organization wants to standardize some of the more confusing parts of a listing by creating an industry-wide “data dictionary” of definitions.

Two of the notable definitions the group would like to set are number of bathrooms and days on market.

Hmm... should we call it 5/8ths?“Number of bathrooms,” you might think, is pretty straightforward. You’ve got full baths and half baths, so a home might have 2 baths, 3 baths, or 2 1/2 baths, and so on. But that raises the question of what constitutes a fractional bath.

If it has a sink and toilet, is that half? What if it’s just a toilet? (My wife’s family’s 19th-century farmhouse has such a room.) What if it has a shower stall but not a bathtub — is that 3/4? Is a two-seater outhouse “1″ or “1/2 + 1/2″?

And how do you do the math? If you read that a house has “2.5 baths” does that mean…

  • Bath A: Toilet, sink, shower
  • Bath B: Toilet, sink, shower
  • Bath C: Toilet, sink

or

  • Bath A: Toilet, two sinks, shower, Jacuzzi
  • Bath B: Toilet, sink, shower

or

  • Bath A: Toilet, bidet, two sinks, two-person shower, Jacuzzi
  • Bath B: Toilet

Yep, they built 'em. or

You see the issue.

So RESO wants to not only standardize definitions, but break them down, so a listing would include not only total baths, but “baths full,” “baths half,” “baths three-quarter,” and “baths one-quarter.”

Read all about it — click here for the Inman News article.