As a Realtor, I am often asked by my buyers, “How is square footage determined and how can we be absolutely sure the house is as big as they say?” This a great question.
The square footage advertised in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listing is derived from one of five possible sources– the builder, owner, county assessor, appraiser or architect. There is no guarantee that the information is accurate. If square footage is important to the buyer, it is the buyer’s responsibility to verify the accuracy.
If you are obtaining financing, your lender will certainly want an accurate measurement, and will order an appraisal to be performed during the escrow period. An appraiser physically measures the square footage of the property by measuring the exterior and interior walls, then inputting that data into a program that draws the floor plan of the house and calculates the square footage.
If you are paying cash for the property, and do not want to pay for a full blown appraisal, at the very least you may want to consider hiring an appraiser to measure the property.
If you are purchasing a new home, the measurements and square footage will be provided directly from the builder or architect. Again, if you want to verify the accuracy of what is being represented to you, hire a certified appraiser or architect who can measure the home.
The bottom line is: if size matters, employ a professional during your due diligence period to verify the square footage of your new home.
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255