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Residential Square Footage Guidelines

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It is often said that the three most important factors in making a homebuying decision are location, location, and location. Other than "location," the single most important factor is probably the size or "square footage" of the home. Not only is it an indicator of whether a particular home will meet homebuyer's space needs, but it also affords a convenient method for the buyer to estimate the value of the home and compare it with other properties.

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. At a minimum, information concerning square footage should include the amount of living area in the dwelling. The guidelines and accompanying illustrations in this publication are designed to assist real estate brokers in measuring, calculating and reporting the living area contained in detached and attached single-family residential buildings. When reporting square footage, real estate agents should carefully follow these Guidelines or any other standards that are comparable to them, including those approved by the American National Standards Institute, Inc., which are recognized by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission as comparable standards. Agents should be prepared to identify, when requested, the standard used.