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Should the square footage include fully finished basements areas?

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January 16 2012 - US
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Typically NO.
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January 16 2012
There are different rules in each MLS area.
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January 16 2012

The standard that appraisers use does not permit interior areas below grade (i.e. basements) to be included in a home's square footage area.

When a home is listed using standards other than this it is recommended that the listing disclose in the public remarks field the rooms and spaces that are included in the measured area.

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January 16 2012
Profile picture for the_country_hick
As a buyer I am looking for the actual size of the house. Make sure the listing says the house size is 24x48 (or whatever) with a finished basement. Otherwise buyers get upset looking at a puny ranch with a basement thinking they were getting to see a much bigger house.
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January 16 2012
As mentioned earlier, you will need to check with any local REALTOR for your region's MLS rules. In the Seattle area, if a basement is heated and fully finished, it is included in the total square footage (one of the reasons basement remodels are so popular right now!)
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January 16 2012
Profile picture for wetdawgs
In most (but not all) areas it is only above grade living space and the basement is called out separately.    However, a local appraiser will be able to give you some feedback for your area.
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January 16 2012
You need to contact a local Realtor for the information for your location.  Different rules apply to the many MLSs throughout the country. 
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January 16 2012
 
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