Calculating the Total Square Footage of your Home-Guidelines to follow

Calculating the Total Square Footage of your Home -

Guidelines your Realtor® must follow.

 

calculating the total square footage of your home



When calculating the Total Square Footage of your Home, Real Estate Agents have certain published guidelines* and codes we need to adhere to when the details of your home are entered into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  Most of the guidelines come from our MLS and others come from Building Codes of the State or Township you are located within.

 

Determinants of square footage:

 

To include areas of the home in the total square footage of the home, these areas need to be completely finished and heated by a permanently installed heat source.

 

The finished areas must also have a ceiling height of at least 5’.  

 

Any area that is open to the room below is not considered in the calculation of finished square footage either.

 

A) Therefore, that enclosed Sunroom that does not offer heat is not considered finished square footage.  The Basement that does not have sheet rock or flooring, even though heated, is not finished square footage.

 

B) Therefore, if the sides of the home are angled only those parts of the room where the height is at least 5’ can be measured and included in the total finished square footage.  The room may be 10 x 15 at the floor level but due to the angled sides it is not a 10 x 15 room at the 5’ level.

 

C) The Garage, Porch and Deck are not to be included in the finished square footage calculation.

 

D) If you have a two story home and the first floor is 1200 square foot finished but the living room has a Cathedral ceiling you do not have 1200 square feet times 2 when calculating your finished square footage. That “open area” would need to be deducted from the 2nd story square footage total.

 

Number of Bedrooms:

 

The Code states that in order for a room to be classified as a Bedroom it must have a Door, Closet, and Window (of a certain height and width).

 

Therefore the Open Loft is not considered a Bedroom.  

 

The room with a door and a window but no closet cannot be classified as a Bedroom. It would be classified as a Den or Office.

 

 

Calculating the Total Square Footage of your Home - Guidelines your Realtor® must follow.

 

*These Guidelines were adopted from the American National Standards Institute and are applicable to those homes listed with the Pocono Mountain Association of Realtors® and may or may not be the same standards for the MLS that your home would be listed within.

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When looking for a Realtor© in the Poconos that will listen, assist and guide you without "pushing" you, contact Bobbie Smith. I would love to help.

 

Bobbie Smith, CRS

(Certified Residenial Specialist-CRS)

570-242-1891 Cell Best (Call or Text)

570-421-2345 Office 

RS#274017 

Email me now: bobbiej51@hotmail.com    

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All pictures, text, etc. stated within is the exclusive property of Bobbie Smith and cannot be copied or duplicated without written consent from Bobbie Smith.  All statistics and data contained herein are obtained from reliable sources and are deemed reliable however each individual should always do their own research on each topic and derive their own conclusions. Any statements of opinion are just that, the opinions of Bobbie Smith. *Realtor is a registered trademark of NAR*

Comment balloon 35 commentsBobbie Smith • March 29 2014 06:46AM

Comments

Good job of explaining this Bobbie,  Hope the sun is out today and the trees will start getting leaves on them.

Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) over 4 years ago

Bobbie: This is good information that will help consumers in the Poconos who do not understand how to calculate the square footage of their home.

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) over 4 years ago

Hi Will, Thank you!

The sun is NOT out.  It is cloudy and cool and they are calling for rain - have issued flood watch warnings.  Yuck!

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Hi Anita, Thanks. I hope so.

Many consumers think their homes are larger than what we can legally state and what can be appraised so it is good for them to be aware of it, like you say.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Good tips Bobbie.  We always measure ourselves.  Got stung once (from the builders prints) so now we take our tape and draw it up!

Posted by John McCormack, AlbuquerqueHomes.com, Albuquerque Homes Realty (Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com) over 4 years ago

Oh yes....... Suggested!

Posted by John McCormack, AlbuquerqueHomes.com, Albuquerque Homes Realty (Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com) over 4 years ago

Bobbie- this is great information to have, especially for us non-agents. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 4 years ago




Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 4 years ago

Oh yes, John. Been there, done that.

You cannot rely on anyone's measurements but your own I have found.

Thank you so much for suggesting.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Hi Kathy,

Good point. More people use it than we realize.

When you have got to have it, you should do it right.

Thanks so much for the feature in your weekly posts. I am very grateful.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Bobbie - This is great.  It's very clear and logically makes sense.  Suggested.  - Debbie

Posted by Women of Westchester Working Together, Women helping Women get ahead (Women of Westchester Working Together) over 4 years ago

Very useful information, Bobbie.  Though, please don't ask me to compute the living area of a home.  I prefer to use the registered values in the tax rolls.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) over 4 years ago

Nicely done!  And, I never gave it much thought.  And, to have your agent double-check is probably a good idea!

Posted by Ron Marshall, Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire (Marshall Enterprises) over 4 years ago

Good morning Bobbie,

First of all I've been meaning to say I like your new photo!! It took me a minute because now you are wearing that wonderful color jacket!! We are not allowed to quote SF..too many lawsuits so we leave the measurements to the appraisers and tax rolls!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799) over 4 years ago

Hi Debbie, Thank you. Glad you stopped by.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Hi Gabe, I understand that part of the computation.

Our tax records are too unreliable unfortunately.

Thanks!

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Hi Ron, It is important. I've had Clients who want to include their garage, etc. in their square footage and in our area it just does not calculate that way. Thanks!

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Hi Dorie, Thank you for the compliments. I am very partial to pink, fuscia, you name it.

That is a good idea, we should not be allowed to quote it either and since we can I verify my own info for just that reason.

Thanks so much!

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Hi Bobbie, luckily, our public property records indicate living (under heat/air) as well as total square footage (everything under roof) and that is what we will typically use.  As you are pointing out, they are not always 100% correct so if an owner has a floorplan or information otherwise, we can use that but personally, I will always attach a disclaimer.

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) over 4 years ago

Great explanation.

When showing properties, there is some leeway with these guidelines. I saw a room that was about 5 x 5 had a closet and a window. I question that as a bedroom.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 4 years ago

Hi Silvia, Thank you. Good point.

I usually try to remember a disclaimer as well.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Hi Margaret, That certainly is understandable.  They should have a minimum size requirment.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Good information. For years we have not put square footage on our listings. Now more often than not we do but with disclaimers that the buyer must verify the information. Apparently, there was a lawsuit about it years ago.

Posted by Tanya Van Blake-Coleman, Improving the Quality of Your Life (Van Blake-Coleman Realty, St. Thomas/www.talk-to-Tanya.com) over 4 years ago

Bobbie - Your guidelines are much like those in Idaho - although I hadn't heard of an open loft not being included.

What we used to see here was agents including ALL the square footage - the sun porch, the unfinished basement, etc. And as for County Records - they're more likely than not to be just as inaccurate.

You have a new photo - nice!

Posted by Marte Cliff, your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) over 4 years ago

Hi Tanya, Interesting isn't it? Every state and every MLS within the state has different guidelines. Thanks.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Hi Marte, Interesting indeed. Everyone seems to have their own guidelines from what I am reading here in the comments. Very interesting indeed. Thanks.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Bobbie-Good guidelines. Preferred method for me is using another credible source-tax appraisal records, builders stated size, etc., just in case my math is flawed. 

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) over 4 years ago

That is indeed the problem...there is more than one way to calculate square feet...

and no one knows the method used....the footprint of the house...the  addition of all room sizes etc.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 4 years ago

There you go Wayne. If there is another reliable source, it is best to use it but when one is not available, guidelines are what we follow. Thanks.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Hi Sally and David, Following these guidelines and the advice of appraisers certainly helps when measuring the finished square footage. Thanks.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Thanks Bobbie for posting valuable guidelines to consider as a resource when calculating a property's square footage, in addition to the Property Appraisers Tax Roll calculations.

Posted by Joyce Marsh, Daytona Beach Florida, Proudly Selling Florida Homes and Lifestyles (Joyce Marsh at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty) over 4 years ago

Good post Bobbie. Calculating sq.ft. is different no mater who is measuring.

Posted by Debbie Reynolds, Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent (Platinum Properties) over 4 years ago

Hi Joyce, Thanks for stopping by. Consumers need to understand what is considered finished square footage and what is not.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Hi Debbie, Guidelines need to be considered when measuring square footage of a home. Thanks.

Posted by Bobbie Smith, 570-242-1891 over 4 years ago

Good explanation of how to compute square footage Bobbie.  I use tax records and put the blame on them if the information is incorrect.

Posted by Bette Gottwald, "Bet"on Central PA Real Estate! (UNITED REAL ESTATE | Central PA) over 4 years ago

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