Inventory in DFW is flying off the shelves. One thing to know before you list are the legal requirements about what actually constitutes a bedroom. I came across this great article that explains exactly what the parameters are – I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
There are, in fact, a number of details that make a room a “bedroom”—and both home buyers and sellers had best know them to avoid misunderstandings.
Bedrooms are one of the most important selling features of a home, notes Mark Abdel, a real estate professional with Re/Max Advantage Plus in Minneapolis–St. Paul. So it’s no surprise that homeowners want to slap that label on as many rooms as possible.
“Sellers can usually set and get a higher price the more bedrooms a home has,” Abdel says.
Six features that define a bedroom
The laws vary by state, but here are six ways you can tell if your room is a bedroom rather than just a “room”:
- Minimum square footage: This is the top issue, says Shaun Anders of Douglas Elliman. Although this can vary from state to state, 70 to 80 square feet is generally the acceptable minimum. Sellers in urban markets such as New York City and Chicago would love 5-by-7[-foot] rooms to qualify as a bedroom, but no go, says Anders.
- Minimum horizontal footage: The minimum square footage doesn’t tell the whole tale. A bedroom must also measure at least 7 feet in any horizontal direction. That is why you cant call a hallway a bedroom!
- Two means of egress: There have to be two ways out of a bedroom. Traditionally, these would be a door and a window. Ekroth adds that in most markets, a skylight would also qualify as that means of egress.
- Minimum ceiling height: At least half of the bedroom ceiling has to be at least 7 feet tall.
- Minimum window size: The window opening must be a minimum size, usually 5.7 square feet.
- A heating and cooling element: We’re talking a heater (a space heater won’t qualify) as well as a way to cool it down, whether that’s by opening a window or good old AC.
Does a bedroom need a closet?
Contrary to popular belief, a bedroom does not have to have a closet to be considered official. (Your significant other might disagree, but legally, at least in most states, it does not.) Closets are expected in newer homes, but older ones might require a more creative approach to stowing your clothes.
So what can you call a room that doesn’t fit these requirements? Based on your state, you could get away with calling it an “office,” “nursery,” or the ultimate catch-all, “bonus room.” Because bedroom or not, just about any indication of extra space will make most buyers’ eyes light up.
If you need any help staging your home to prepare for a listing, any questions about how many bedrooms you have, or what the comps are in your neighborhood, reach out to me today! I’m always here to help you with any of your real estate needs.