I Don’t Believe It Has Any Square Feet?

The Mountain Life Team Blogger March 17, 2008

I will never forget that one beautiful summer like Thanksgiving day at Maw’s house. We had just sat down for the feast, and then there was a knock at the door. We weren’t too sure who it was, and after a few seconds passes by, my mom asks me to go see who it is. Well, we had forgotten all about the sign in the front of the house that read…For Sale By Owner. Can you believe that my Grandmother’s house was once a FSBO? Anyway, I remember the conversation between Maw and the potential home buyer going something like this…

Buyer: Hello mam, sorry to bother you on Thanksgiving day.

Maw: Oh, that’s okay.

FSBO GMawBuyer: Can I ask you a few questions, I wouldn’t want to just barge in on you, it being Thanksgiving and all.

Maw: Sure…..that’ll be fine.

Buyer: How many bedrooms does your home have?

Maw: It’s got 4….yeah, it has 4 bedrooms….3 upstairs and 1 downstairs.

Buyer: How many bathrooms?

Maw: It’s got 2…..yeah there are 2 bathrooms in my home.

Buyer: Well….can you tell me how many square feet your home has?

Maw: Uhhhh……mmmmm…..sir….it doesn’t have any square feet!

I thought I was going to die laughing along with the potential buyer, Maw just because we were, and everyone else that was there on such a memorable Thanksgiving Day.

This leads me to a question that a reader of TheFrontPorchView has asked me.

He wanted to know, “just why is it that Real Estate agents within Georgia will not even think about quoting square footage?”

It has alway been said in Real Estate that the three most important words are Location…Location…Location. Well I say that next to Location, people want to know how much house they are getting for the money. The best way in order to do this is to know how large the house is and we measure that by the number of Square Feet in a home. This is the way that all Appraisers valuate property, and this is the most common way to do so.

So why don’t Realtors quote square footage in Georgia? Are we not the professionals? In my summation, I would say it has everything to do with a room that you don’t find in any home in America, a room that at some point or another we have probably all seen, but hope you never do. Yeap…you guessed it! A court room.

You better make pretty dawg gone sure that if you are out there quoting square footage, it had better be accurate.

Believe it or not, there are so many different ways of measuring square footage. Do you measure just the heated living space? Do you measure from interior wall to exterior wall? Do you include finished space, the carport or garage? Do you take the measurements, your Realtor, or Appraiser? Or do you simply let the County Tax Commissioner measure it and then rely on the tax records? Do you totally rely upon the Architect or MLS data. Well you should, because you know most Realtors never make a mistake…right?

Blue PrintsI would say that it really depends upon who is doing the measuring. Don’t most Buyer’s measure from interior walls to interior walls? And why do they do that? That’s right….so they will know what furniture to buy and how much of it! However, when it comes to placing a value on your home, the Appraiser will typically measure from one outside wall to another.

Taking all of this into consideration, one word pops into my mind….”approximately.” I do not have a problem answering a customer or clients question about square footage to the best of my ability as long as they don’t mind me throwing that word in there somewhere.

“This North Georgia Mountain Cabin has approximately 1780 sq.ft.”

The problem with most online advertising tools is that they do not allow you to add that word “approximately” to the area where you input the square footage. Therefore that is why I do not ever quote the square footage in any of my advertising efforts.

I would like to add that Realtors are not required by the Real Estate License Law or Real Estate Commission Rules. So in closing, I certainly hope that this has somewhat cleared up any confusion as to why Realtors in the North Georgia Mountain area do not include square footage quotes in any of their publications, or Internet advertisement. I’s guessing ike so many of you ,I sure am just sick and tired of the fact that we live in a sue happy world. Who would have ever have thought that someone would be rewarded several millions of dollars just for purchasing “hot coffee” and her spilling it on herself!

If you ever ask me the square footage of a North Georgia Mountain Home or Cabin, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will NOT be accurate, but it will be one very close…. well approximately! If you liked this article, please come back on the Porch soon, as I will be discussing more and more questions and concerns that you have. If you have any questions or concerns about a buying or selling North Georgia Mountain Property, please contact me. Stay and rock a while and enjoy the views, I am sure there are some other articles that will interest you. You might enjoy Ten Reasons To Skin A Realtor While Buying A Mountain Home! If you don’t like that one, you will love “Do You Have Gas? Or Do You Have To Pay For It?” If you need me, call me at 706.633.8186, I would be grateful to help!

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See What Others Are Saying

  1. Very humorous AND informative post, Chad.

    Indeed, when we put square footage on MLS data or advertising- we are wide open to a lawsuit.
    I heard it started from a lawsuit in Atlanta. A Buyer was told the square footage and it was off by inches.
    It’s a shame we live in such a litigious society.

    If I am really pushed to get the square footage, I used “approximate”- or “as per tax records” or “as per seller/builder/house plans.”

    It’s good to let readers know the reason we don’t include square footage-
    They probably think it’s laziness on our part.
    Doesn’t occur to them that it’s for protection.

    Have a great day!

  2. Very humorous AND informative post, Chad.

    Indeed, when we put square footage on MLS data or advertising- we are wide open to a lawsuit.
    I heard it started from a lawsuit in Atlanta. A Buyer was told the square footage and it was off by inches.
    It’s a shame we live in such a litigious society.

    If I am really pushed to get the square footage, I used “approximate”- or “as per tax records” or “as per seller/builder/house plans.”

    It’s good to let readers know the reason we don’t include square footage-
    They probably think it’s laziness on our part.
    Doesn’t occur to them that it’s for protection.

    Have a great day!

Comments are closed.