Square footage listing vs appraiser

2 Replies

In Chicago, is there a certain height a finished basement needs to be in order for it to count as square footage. Is it different for an appraiser than when listing on the MLS?

I am asking because I know of plenty of houses that do not have tall basements(less than 7 feet), but when they are listed to be sold, the agent has included the finished basement as square footage, which should potentially help increase the price of the home.

I have a potential property that has a basement that is about 6'9" that I plan to finish and put a bedroom in as well. When it comes time to sell what limits me from including it as part of the square footage so that it is considered in the ARV?

Also when running comps on similar sold properties, how does one know that the square footage is accurate on the listing?

compare to tax records basis. Seller's is other. Realtors are not allowed to come up with their measurements.

Hi @Alexander Chavez !

These are all great questions. 

Regarding the ceiling heights in the basement, I would always refer to the 7ft rule. I'm not 100% sure what the rules are in each village and/or municipality, so you'll need to be sure to dig a little further in whatever neighborhood you're flipping in, but I can tell you right now, that most of the investors I work with will not touch a basement with ceiling heights below 7 feet.

Regarding totaling SF up in a house to maximize your livable space, you should really refer to the tax records on Realist, as I'm almost positive that that's what the appraisers use. That being said, you'll need to be careful. Sometimes a "900 SF" house (on the tax roll) with an unpermitted finished attic will not have that additional space noted on Realist. It's difficult to really tell sometimes, so you may have to rely on doing these measurements yourself.

As with anything, be sure to check with the local villages on requirements and rules before moving forward with anything. That's probably the best advice I can give.



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