How does our basement factor into the square feet?

Asked by Ayelet, Aurora, CO Thu Feb 26, 2009

We're looking to sell our house in the upcoming weeks, but our basement is the tricky part. It has a separate entrance and is finished with carpeting, two bedrooms, and another bathroom. The windows are a decent size, too, so it gets lots of light. We don't live down there, but we think someone could (or maybe did in the past). Would you count the basement's square feet into the whole house's square feet? What would you do?

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Bill Fung, Agent, Centennial, CO
Thu Feb 26, 2009

REALTORs have to follow (multiple listing service) MLS guidelines for information input into our system. We have 4 different fields to imput sqft.

They are: sqft of above ground (not including basement), Basement sqft only, finished sqft (adding in above ground and basement sqft that is finished, and finally total sqft finished or not which includes above ground and basement sqft.

The second part of your question answered would be: REALTORSs would look at how the basement finish conforms to other criteria, and yes it is possible to advertise in other venues what the sqft is with addtional disclosure remarks so as to not mislead the buying public.

If you want to have me take a look or contact me for more detailed explanation feel free to call or email me. Compliments to you for asking such a good question.

Wishing you the Best

Bill Fung 303-400-6661
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1 vote
The Kinslow…, Agent, Centennial, CO
Thu Feb 26, 2009
Hello Ayelet,

The square footage is a matter of fact. It will be put in the MLS as follows:
Square Feet xxxx (the number of above grade square footage)
Total Square Feet xxxx (The entire house basement and all)
Finished Square Feet xxxx (Total of above grade and basement that's livable square feet)

What's important is how are you going to advertise that extra great living space. Slam Dunk! Fantastic Finished Basement with 2 Bedrooms, 1 bathroom and it's own seperate entrance! Where's it going to be advertised??? Every possible website, hopefully. How about T.V. I'am having wonder luck with Comcasts Real Estate Chanel 888.

Good Luck selling your home, the market really is changing here in Aurora. The foreclosures are disappearing and there's a lot less supply for Buyer's to choose from. Out of the three homes I listed in January, one closes tomorrow, another went under contract within 10 days and the third has had offers and another one is supposed to be coming in tomorrow. Our office is reporting 10% of our listings getting multiple offers. I think people should be getting them on the market now, instead of waiting for the rush of homes that usually go on the market in the spring.

2 votes
Brian Burke, Agent, Highlands Ranch, CO
Thu Feb 26, 2009
Bill Fung did a great job answering this question.
0 votes
Edith Karoli…, Agent, Winnetka, IL
Thu Feb 26, 2009
Hi Ayelet,
The basement size and amenities are certainly an important part of your property.
If your basement is a finished basement, then I would certainly put the sq. ft. of it in the separate description of the property, not in the total sq. ft. of the home as one wants to compare that to other properties above ground...
But it is certainly helpful to say in the description that the home has a finished basement with certain amenities and a total sq. footage of .......

Discuss it with your Realtor, he or she will know how to best express its importance to your home.
Good Luck in your sale!
0 votes
Rick Meyer, Agent, Colts Neck, NJ
Thu Feb 26, 2009
Hi Ayelet,
In my state of NJ, Basements are not included in the square footage of a home.
A knowledgeable REALTOR in your state could have the answer for you, but the only surefire way to know is to have an Appraisal done buy a Licensed Appraiser.
Listing the incorrect square footage on a home could make you liable for a law suit.
Best of luck to you,
0 votes
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