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Home Square Footage

Does the state of Virginia or the City of Norfolk have any laws stating how advertised home square footage is calculated? I am buying a home and the MLS stated square footage includes the garage. I was under the impression that the garage did not count as living area unless it was heated/cooled. Does a listing agent not have to verify the advertised square footage prior to listing it in MLS? If so where can I find that in writing.
  • September 05 2013 - Norfolk
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Answers (3)

You are absolutely correct.  The garage is not part of the living area unless it is finished living space including - heating and cooling.  The city tax records should reflect a fairly accurate account of the sq footage but the most accurate is the appraisal.  The appraiser actually measures each room.
As a listing agent we are often not accurate since we primarily depend on the accuracy of the city tax records and/or a previous listing or the sellers approximate guess.  


 
 
  • September 09 2013
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"Does a listing agent not have to verify the advertised square footage prior to listing it in MLS?"   No.  The agent doesn't have to do so.   Usually the advertisements have a disclaimer stating that accuracy needs to be verified by the buyer.  (with everything in real estate, buyer beware!)
  • September 05 2013
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When I take a listing I always try to make sure that i have accurate information, but with SQ Footage, it is auto populated from county records. I always state - Information deemed to be accurate, buyer to verify.  

I don't intentionally want to put false information on the listing, but sometimes the county gets things wrong, or the house has been modified with or with out pulling the proper permits and the client doesn't accurately inform us.  

One thing you can do is have your agent call title or the county and see the tax records.

I hope this helps a bit.  Adding a whole garage can easily add a lot of non living space sq footage so I do understand your concerns.
  • September 05 2013
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