If square footage is important to you do your own calculations. Many town assessors records will have fairly accurate foundation measurements.
Some agents use the towns assessment records - some use those records and use the total area, others use the living area
Basements are not suppose to be counted unless it is disclosed in the listing information
Other agents use "measured" as the sq ft - which may be different than actual
Some use "provided by owner"
So as you can see you are not alone - but don't get caught up in sq ft. Best to view what is available in the market, see what fits your life style, determine if its a fair value based on the comparisons you have seen.
For example check out the listing for 6 West Ave in Hudson (see link below). If you scroll down the page a bit you can see the following data fields under the section labeled "Property Info".
Approximate Living Area: 1872 sq.ft.
Price Per Square Foot: $218
Living Area Includes Basement:
Living Area Source: Public Record
Unfortunately a lot of real estate websites don't display all of the MLS fields the way Territory.com does and as a buyer this can cause confusion. The variation you noted in your question was probably related to a change in agent where the new agent may have been a little more "creative" when it came to presenting the property to the public.
Thank you all for your responses!!!
There is no difference in sqaure footage calculations on a sale vs rental. Generally, living area should be finshed, heated space above grade. Where it can be confusing sometimes, is listing agents will sometimes include the finished basement. When this is done, they should be disclosing that information, but sometimes they dont. You can also look at the towns property card however, unfortunately, they are not always accurate either.
Because of the inconsistancies, sqaure footage should be looked as a starting point. Additionally, while two homes may have the same living area, the layout may cause the home to haved a different feel. Size of closets, hallways, number of rooms all will contribute to making a home feel bigger or smaller.
Likey your best resource for accurate square footage information is by referring to the local tax records. This information should be accurate.
There can be two square footage numbers associated with a property. One consisting of the number of square feet being heated while the second is the total number of square feet that normally includes garage, porch, and storage areas that are unheated. This may be the source of some of the confusion associated with your subject property.
No, there should be no difference in the calculation in the square footage for a sale or a rental. They should be the same.
What is the address? I can look up the legal square footage for you.