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How Reliable are Square Footage Figures?

Dollar per square foot is always the name of the game in real estate.
You make an offer and purchase the home based on this information.

So when looking for a home you should pay particular attention
to the source of square foot information.  It’s usually determined
by 1 of the 3 methods below.

  • tax roles
  • appraiser
  • building plan

How accurate are these?

There can be small variations – lets say 25 sq ft.
but never 500 sq ft.

Why the difference?

Because many different people are involved in the process.

Typically builders on new homes will overstate square footage.
Sometimes non air conditioned space is counted, like closets or porches.
Also, the building process demands many changes and the original plans
can add or subtract sq footage.  You really need to be careful with new
home builders.

Sometimes owners of resale properties add on rooms and don’t report
the addition to the county so their assessed value stays lower for
property taxes.

Whenever you’re considering a property do a back ground check
on the county tax roles first before you make an offer.
If there is a difference the owner or listing agent should be able
to explain it and make proper documentation available to you.

If you’re financing you will get an apprasial done before you close
and will know the sq foot and appraised market value of the home.

If you’re paying cash you don’t have to have an appraisal done so
you need to check your sources carefully.  Unless you’re just
buying lot value for a tear down, then it doesn’t matter.

That’s why everything on the MLS is deemed reliable,
BUT NOT GUARANTEED, same with square footage


About Terry W. Smith

Passionate about real estate, positive problem solver, specialty boutique real estate brokerage that does things your way! A full-time Broker & REALTOR®, helping people buy and sell homes in the Dallas - Plano area. Whether you're a buyer just starting out or someone with luxury properties to sell. I have extensive knowledge and experience to help you with your real estate transaction. I am a native Dallasite & know stuff, ask me...

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