New Home Square Footage Lies When For Sale?


I bought a home a few years ago and on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) it stated it had "approximately" 1900 square feet.  After buying the house I measured the square footage myself and it was about 1475.  The square footage was off by over 400 on the MLS. I bought another home and the square footage was off by 175 square feet from what was stated on the MLS.

One of my hobbies is looking at homes for sale in my area and in every single case the "approximate" square footage is off anywhere from 175-700 square feet.  On one particular day I looked at a home for sale and the "approximate" square footage on the MLS was grossly miscalculated to the tune of nearly 900 square feet. 

Obviously the bigger a house is, the more money you can sell it for. The more money you sell a house for the more money the real estate agent receives.  The only person who loses when the square footage is "misstated" is the buyer.  

The bigger a house is the easier it is to sell.  Think about it, if you have two homes almost identical in a similar neighborhood and one is 1400 square feet and the other is 1900 square feet, which one will you buy?  The bigger home will sell much faster than the smaller home and for more money.  It pays to be "off" when calculating the "approximate" square footage of a home for sale. 

To estimate the square footage of a room is very simple.  A room 10' X 20' is 200 square feet.  Just multiply the length of a room by its width and that is the square footage of a room.  Add up every room in the house and you now have the square footage of the entire home.  If you are buying a home, take a tape measure with you and measure for yourself to see what the actual square footage is.

I am not calling anybody liars or deceivers, I am just relaying to you my experiences with the square footage being overstated in every single home for sale I have ever looked into.  It could very well be an honest mistake, take what I relay to you with a grain of salt.  Again, this is all my opinion gleaned from my home buying experiences and looking at homes for sale in my area.

To all of you that own homes, see what the listed square footage of your home is and then measure for yourself to compare.  When you measure a kitchen or bathroom go from wall to wall.  In other words, don't measure from cabinet to cabinet because that will not be the true square footage.  Measure all closets, hallways, walkways, laundry rooms, etc. 

I even included the size of the small closet my air conditioning unit was in and added that to my total.  As you can see I calculated every single space in my home to get the actual square footage (except for my garage).  Even after doing all of this the square footage was understated by over 400 square feet.

What I assume is being done by the agents is they are just multiplying the length of the outside walls of the home for the square footage and this includes the garage.  The garage isn't a livable space so it shouldn't be included in the square footage in the listing.  The garage in my old home was 400 square feet so that might explain the discrepancy and the many others I have personally encountered.


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