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how do you estimate square footage

The home facts lists square footage - how is that calculated? Does it include all floors of a house (i.e. basement, first and second floors)?
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September 11 2010 - Centennial
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"There is currently no nationally approved or mandated measurement standard for a single-family home (within the real estate or appraisal industries). "Space" (finished/heated living space) is the final real estate frontier".  From Howtomeasureahouse.com

Therefore; Zillow's description of your own square footage is based on public information and so it may not be accurate. The most highly qualified professional to describe the measurement is a local appraiser.
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September 15 2010

Most agents get their square footage info from either public records or a prior appraisal. In Colorado, Sellers are required to provide a "Square Footage Disclosure" to the Buyer (usually prepared by the listing agent).

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September 12 2010
It may be helpful to go to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agency's website...under the Real Estate Division they have the forms that are commonly used in the real estate business.   One of them is a Square Footage Disclosure that identifies the issues.  Good luck.
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September 11 2010
Dear Hespero1.   In Georgia agents are not supposed to quote square footage.   However, since the recent changes in the market, with foreclosures being so prevalent, the listing services in metro Atlanta began allowing us to include the square footage on the listing itself but the source is quoted.   Most of the time the agent is using the square footage found on the county tax record. 
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September 11 2010
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Square footage is only supposed to include all inside "conditioned" (meaning heated/weatherproofed) space. That means that garages, unfinished basements or attics, porches, outside utility rooms etc. should not be included. There are different ways of calculating square footage for a house, but this article here explains it fairly well overall. I hope it helps.
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September 11 2010
When I need to do this, I first check the tax record to see if it has already been done for me....  but if not I measure the outside of the home and remove the garage.  SQFT does not include areas that do not have HVAC.  Hope that helps.
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September 11 2010
Profile picture for wetdawgs
In most states, only the above grade finished space is included in the square foot, so basements aren't.  (My home is Colorado has a walk out basement as it is at grade on two  sides, but it isn't included in the square footage).  So, if you have a two story house with basement, it would be the first and second floor square footage.

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September 11 2010
 
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