Profile picture for ajayam19

home sq footage discrepancy

Hi

When we purchased our home, the MLS listing said it was 2511 sq. ft (listing by EBBY HALLIDAY)

Now 3 years later we are thinking of selling the house, and looks like in Zillow (and  tax records) it shows just 2303 sq feet!

How do we go about knowing the exact sq. ft?

Specifically is there a document we look at from the title company that would show us the sq. footage.

How do we go about correcting this back to 2500 sq.ft?

Thanks

Ajai
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July 31 2010 - Frisco
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Replies (14)

Square Foot has always been a sticky issue.

The appraisal is your best document for securing correct square footage.

Secure it, because you paid for it and ask the appraiser to visit your home and see whats what. Also invite the Realtor© you plan to list with.

Good Luck!

James Callas - Realtor®
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July 31 2010
Profile picture for wetdawgs
If the county records and tax records say 2303 square feet, I'd stick with that number unless you have justification ( permits etc for an additional 200 square feet).   Perpetuating the error of the previous agent would not be a good idea!

"exact" square feet is an issue.  If you get three professionals to measure, chances are good you will end up with three different numbers.

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July 31 2010
Profile picture for ajayam19
@James

Do we need to get to appraised again, or can we contact the title company or bank and get the original appraisal?

I do get a "notice of appraised value" letter from the district, but nowhere does it mention the square footage!

@wetdawgs

Our agent, a friend of ours, had mentioned that MLS listing shows from tax records - so do not know where this number comes from exactly.

Thanks

Ajai



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July 31 2010
There are no God's at Zillow that have all the right answers nor all the information about your house.  ZIllow does data-mining ... mainly from tax records ... so if the court house records are incorrect ( which many are) or haven't been updated (which is often the case)  then Zillow is wrong too. 

 Previous answer about using the sq footage from the most recent appraisal (which you probably had done if you financed the home) will most likely be the most accurate. Otherwise hire a contractor to measure livable sq footage as described in your local building codes. 200 sq ft difference in living space is almost un-decernable by the average buyer.  Most mls listings also state that information is deemed reliable but not always accurate. Buyer beware!
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July 31 2010
Profile picture for ajayam19
Thanks Rick!

We will try to get the most recent appraisal, or get it done again like you suggested.

I am surprised that MLS listing is not always accurate, since the listing is what we went by when we purchased; and a 200 sqft different amounts to over 16K!

So how are MLS listings arrived at, can agents simply make up numbers such as square footage, or is it strictly controlled?

I thought I'd done some research when purchasing, looks like learning about real estate is a never ending task!

Ajai


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July 31 2010
You are correct, learning about real estate is a never ending task,  I've been in real estate full time for 15 years and still learn something every day.

As agents when we list a home's square footage, we are required to put the source of that number (tax, appraisal, building plan, owner).

The appraisal is not a document the title company would have.  It is something that your lender sould have given you when you purchased your house.  Look in your files for a thick document.

You don't have to get a full blown appraisal done,  you can have an appraiser measure your house for $100.

Naima
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August 02 2010
Profile picture for ajayam19
Thanks Everyone!

I contacted the the lender (Bank Of America) and they faxed a copy of the original appraisal which thankfully shows the 2511 sq. ft.

Called the county appraisal office, and they said to bring the document over, and they could get the info corrected.

Thanks again

Ajai
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August 02 2010
Ajai,

The appraisal district will likely raise the assessed value of your house if the square footage is higher making your taxes higher.

If you are thinking of selling, your agent can still use the corrected square footage for marketing purposes.

Naima
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August 02 2010
The tax records are not always the most reliable source for square footage of a home. You might want to see if you have a copy of the appraisal when you bought the home or hire a licensed appraiser to come and measure your rooms. Good luck and Happy Selling!
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August 02 2010
A lot of the time the builder will turn in plans for permits to the city with the base plans square footage.  If you or the original owner added an optional bedroom, media room, gameroom, etc then taht footage may not have been added when they filled out the paperwok.  With as many homes that were built around here it happen quite often.  Many homes in my neighborhood are off by as much as 500 sq ft. 
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August 05 2010
The appraisal is something you should have received from your lender. It is very common for the tax records to show a different number than that of an appraisal. This happens a lot with livable space. The tax records show that your home has a 3 car garage (not livable space), when intact you have a two car and the extra space is an additional bedroom and full bath for example.
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October 20 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
As the owner, you can claim the house and update your home facts. After you claim your house, you can edit the facts immediately.

Go to the home page and claim ownership with the yellow "edit" pencil under the main house photo. Once you claim, you can use that same "edit" link to correct your home facts. Hope it helps. 
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October 20 2011
Nick,  I realize that you are new to zillow, you can look under the question and see the date of the question.  This one is over a year old and the OP has already replied in August 2010 that it has already been taken care of.

Naima
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October 20 2011
If the Tax Records state 2303 that is the number that is accepted.  If you believe that has more square footage you can measure and see if it is the same or close.  If you would like to use another number for square footage you will need to prove that the home has the exact square footage you are claiming. 
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October 24 2011
 
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