Our MLS, which is the source of information about most homes for sale, shows the measurements for homes that are for sale. Including room sizes, which floor the room is on, the foundation size, the total finished above and below ground square footages, lot dimensions and acreage.
There are some things home buyers should know:
1. Not everything you read in the MLS is 100% accurate, which is why if you read the fine print it will say the information is “deemed reliable but not guaranteed”. We strive for accuracy and there are checks and balances, but mistakes are made. Total square footages and room sizes are not always accurate.
Generally agents do not deliberately misrepresent room sizes or square footages but sometimes they make mistakes and sometimes they just use the last set of measurements that were in the MLS without verifying them.
2. Finished Square footage is not equal. What I mean by that is that below ground square footage is not as valuable as above ground square footage is so when looking at the totals check to see how much is above ground and how much is below.
3. Property tax records do not always show an accurate square footage and the square footage is used in the record to calculate the value of the home. Sometimes buyers like to use tax records as a source of information about property values. If the square footages are wrong the value could also be off.
Tax records for my home are missing 400 square feet. I believe the measurements are for the original house that was on the lot.
The lot dimensions found in tax records are not always accurate either.
It isn’t always easy to get accurate measurements. Some rooms have irregular shapes and we are only allowed to put two measurements in the MLS for each room.
Buyers can measure up a property before they buy it. Just be aware that it isn’t quite as easy as we all make it look.
It should be noted that the source of the information about homes for sale is the Northstar MLS which feeds data to sites like Zillow and the web sites of real estate companies. MLS online is not the MLS but a real estate company. Confusing I know but it is what it is.
**real estate is local if any of these rules apply outside of Minnesota it is purely by chance. 🙂
Also see Legal Bedroom