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Entry 2305.1 - Calculating Square Footage in Residential Properties, Part 1

Calculating Square Footage in Residential Properties, Part 1

In 1998 the NC Real Estate Commission approved “Guidelines” for calculating Square

Footage in residential properties. These “Guidelines” were developed to assist real estate

Brokers in measuring, calculating, and reporting the Square Footage of both attached and

detached single-family residential houses. These “Guidelines” were included as the primary

portion of the 1999-2000 NCREC Real Estate UPDATE Course. The “Guidelines” are

available in booklet form (called “The Yellow Book”), which can be ordered directly from the

NC Real Estate Commissions website ( under the publications tab.

It is the underlying intent of the NC Real Estate Commission that these “Guidelines” will help

promote uniformity and assist brokers who provide measuring and calculating of square

footage in single-family residential properties as a service to their clients and customers.

Although NC real estate brokers are not required by the Real Estate License Law or the NC

Real Estate Commission Rules to “Report” (either orally or in writing) the square footage of

residential properties offered “For Sale” (or Rent), when brokers do “Report” square footage,

it is essential that the information they give prospective purchasers (or tenants) be accurate.

It is anticipated that these “Guidelines” will help alleviate consumer’s confusion and will have

a direct and positive impact when disclosing square footage to Sellers, Buyers, and


When “Reporting” square footage, real estate Brokers should carefully follow these

“Guidelines” or other comparable standards. The NC Real Estate Commission recognizes

the “American National Standard for Single-Family Residential Buildings: Square Footage-

Method for Calculating” (ANSI Z765) approved by the American National Standards

Institute originally adopted in 1996 as a comparable standard. Brokers should be prepared

to identify, when requested, the Standard they employed when measuring and calculating

square footage in residential properties.

These “Guidelines” place particular emphasis on the responsibility of brokers in their

capacity as an “Agent” under their Fiduciary Duty to their client when “Reporting” square

footage. This responsibility cannot be taken lightly because they have a North Carolina

Broker’s license.

Note: VIc will be teaching a 4 hour Elective Course on the topic of Square Footage Guidelines exclusively for START School of Real Estate. Classes will be posted soon at

The above does not constitute Legal Advice. Therefore, find a competent attorney for legal advice.


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