How to Measure a House by Ed Odham © 2005-2011



The total floor area of a house is one of the most important pieces of information about a property that the parties in a real property transaction need to know. Accurate measurements are needed for home buyers, other agents, and appraisers to get accurate and consistent information to use in comparing houses. Buyers rely on square footage information provided to them by their real estate agent when they are purchasing a home. Sellers require an accurate square footage determination to be certain that they are getting the best price for the home they are selling and to be protected from the possibility of lawsuits filed when purchasers discovered that a home was significantly smaller than was stated by the seller or the seller's real estate agent. Agents listing a property for sale are responsible for reporting accurately how much heated living area a home contains.


The North Carolina Real Estate Commission says, “Although real estate agents are not required by the Real Estate License Law or Real Estate Commission rules to report the square footage of properties offered for sale (or rent), when they do report square footage, it is essential that the information they give prospective purchasers be accurate.” All agents licensed by NCREC are expected to be able to accurately calculate the square footage of most dwellings. The Carolina Multiple Listing Service (CMLS) requires listing agents to report the Gross Heated Living Area of a residence as determined by a measurement of the dwelling. It is very important to know as an agent, when you are comparing homes when performing a CMA, how the square footage was calculated.


When reporting square footage, real estate agents should carefully follow the guidelines as approved by the American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI) which are recognized by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission. Agents should be able to identify which standard is used in North Carolina.


(from How to Measure a House by Ed Odham © 2005-2012)


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