Square Footage: A Realtor’s Dilemma and a Buyer's Warning
Every house is different. When looking at MLS to find the proper homes to overlap with a buyer’s desires, an agent has a limited depth of information they can read until they are in a home for the first time. This means that the Realtormust trust the numbers and data in the system. The only thing is there can be discrepancies.
Measuring living space is one of the variables that have guidelines that are not always know/followed. Each state’s Department of Taxation and Finance set the standards of how a space needs to be measured. One common standard is “No matter how spectacularly well remodeled that basement may be — lavishly enough, perhaps, to increase the assessor’s ultimate determination of property value — its location in the house makes it irrelevant as square footage.”
HERE IN THE GALLATIN VALLEY REAL ESTATE, WE DO THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENT.New buyers coming into our neck of the woods should be aware that they need to verify what the “square footage” is defined as. Finished and above grade is included in the total square footage, but does it does not include the garage square footage.
Details such as square footage are viewed as primary indicators to whether a buyer is or is not interested in a home. To have some agents include the basement square footage when others do not is the cause for a great margin of error in the real estate world.
The only way to mend this error is to be as thorough as you can as a listing agent within your own practice. Know the listings you are visiting and when in doubt, call the agent and ask questions. For those browsing online, this discrepancy can be the difference between finding the home of their dreams and settling for what they see.