Main Content

Discrepancies in Square Footage – What’s Going On?

The Real Deal

Everything Real Estate in the San Fernando Valley
Wednesday April 7, 2021
Discrepancies in Square Footage – What’s Going On?

Square footage is the general measurement of how much floor space a given property has, and it is derived using basic math we learned in grade school. Understandably then, people become quite flummoxed when their appraiser tells them their new home’s square footage is different than what was advertised – how on earth could two people, who likely graduated grade school, come to different conclusions about the size of an area? In this article, we will briefly discuss how this occurs, and what to do if there is a significant difference in square footage determinations.
The key reason that people come to different conclusions about the square footage of the home is that they are measuring different things; the definition of “living space” can vary depending on who you ask. While an agent may calculate square footage one way, an appraiser may calculate it another, and this can lead to vastly different numbers.
Some realtors simply use the square footage listed on the tax records (essentially taking a previous appraiser’s assessment and relying on it). This is often the safest course of action, but even that could be inaccurate. Many people modify their property to increase the amount of living space they have, sometimes without obtaining the necessary permit (gasp!). Of course, when the appraiser comes to perform their own measurements, the difference in square footage will be spotted immediately. It’s important to note that the appraiser will not count square footage that has been added without proper permits and so if this price has been determined by square footage including non-permitted spaces, the appraiser may value the property below the contract price, creating an issue for the Buyer’s loan.
If you notice a difference in square footage, it is unlikely anybody is trying to pull a fast one on you. Have your agent request more information about the discrepancy so you have a full picture of what’s going on. As a party to the transaction, you have every right to renegotiate the terms of the contract based on new information.
At the Chernov Team we understand that knowledge is power, and knowledge of how square footage is calculated, and why those numbers may vary between measurements, is powerful knowledge indeed. At the Chernov Team we know that whoever comes to the table most prepared leaves with the most, and the Chernov Team always leaves the table with the most.


Stay Connected

Sign up to Access:

Exclusive private listings S.F. Valley market insights VIP events

Thanks for signing up!
By signing up you agree to our Terms & Conditions

More Blog Posts

To Love
Monday April 12, 2021

During your hunt for the perfect home, you’re bound to be disappointed when you spot a perfect home only to disco...

Read Full Post
Monday April 5, 2021

Home prices have been soaring in Southern California, and many would-be buyers are exploring obscure financing opti...

Read Full Post
Wednesday March 31, 2021

According to the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller national price index, which measures housing prices across the country,...

Read Full Post
Monday March 29, 2021

For the first time, in a long time, those in the market for luxury homes may have to settle for a less-than-ideal h...

Read Full Post