It is interesting to note that in New Jersey we usually do NOT list the square footage of a property on the MLS. It generally is not even included in the advertising of the property. The reason is that often people do not accurately calculate the square footage and listing it incorrectly can cause problems, even legal ones.
As a Realtor, I have been asked many times by potential buyers “what is the square footage”? In New York for instance, everything is about the square footage so when I am asked and forced to respond with “In NJ we usually do not list the square footage”, it always feels awkward! It is sometimes not clear whether a finished basement or a finished 3rd floor attic level is to be included. The problem arises when one person counts it and the other person does not. It can be very misleading to a buyer.
According to Realtor Magazine’s May issue, the gross living area of a home includes finished space that is above grade. It does not include unlivable areas such as stair landings and stairwells, unfinished spaces with exposed wall studs or roof rafters. Finished basements, even walk out basements above or below grade are not recognized as being part of the gross living area. Garages, porches, patios and other finished areas that are not accessible from the primary dwelling are also excluded from this count. Attics can be included if at least 50% of the area has a height of at least 7 feet and they are heated.
If you have a few minutes, take the time to read the full article here.