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RANW Square Footage Guidelines

Measuring and Reporting Square Footage:

Square-Footage Visual Guide HERE

Above-Grade vs. Below-Grade, Finished vs. Unfinished, Photo Requirements

Please see the MLS Rules & Regulations for detailed information.

RANW MLS collects the following Square Footage information:

  • Estimated Finished Above-Grade Square Footage (plus source of data)
  • Estimated Finished Below-Grade Square Footage (plus source of data)
  • Estimated Finished Total Above and Below Grade Square Footage (plus source of data)

Above-Grade Finished Above-Grade is defined as space on any level of a dwelling that has finished square footage and no earth adjacent to any exterior wall on that level. Space that is “at” or “on grade” is considered “above-grade”.

Below-Grade Finished Below-Grade is space on any level that has finished square footage, is accessible by interior stairs, and has earth adjacent to any exterior wall on that level. If earth is adjacent to any portion of a wall, the entire level is considered "below-grade”.


Finished space included in square footage must be:

  1. Space that is intended for human occupancy;
  2. Heated by a permanently-installed heating system(s) – see additional information regarding Seasonal Dwellings;
  3. Directly accessible from other living areas through a door or by a heated hallway or stairway, except for a finished
    lower level room or bathroom;
  4. Finished, with all walls, floors and ceiling in materials generally accepted for interior finished construction (for
    example, painted drywall / sheet rock or paneled walls, carpeted or vinyl or hardwood flooring, epoxy floors.

The Finished space must be:

  1. Heated,
  2. Have finished walls,
  3. Have a finished ceiling (no exposed floor joists), and
  4. Have finished floor (painted concrete walls or floors does not count).

EXCEPTION to “Finished”: If one of these four components (A through D above) is missing, the space may still be counted as “finished square feet”, but disclosure of the missing component must be included in RANW MLS Public Remarks. This finished space rule applies to all room levels.

The property exception to this rule would be a Seasonal Dwelling with non-permanent heat source, the Season Dwelling may include the finished square footage, and if there is any form of heat source it is to be include in Public Remarks.

Photo Requirement for Finished Below-Grade Space: If a listing includes finished below-grade area square footage, a photo is required or inclusion on a virtual tour is required at the time of listing submission. Photo should be labeled of the lower level finished square footage.


Unfinished Space that does not meet the criteria for finished square footage, but which contributes to the value of the dwelling, may be included in the data fields for Unfinished Room Dimensions, or in Public Remarks if applicable, but may not be included in finished square footage.

Measuring Square Footage:

  • Round measurements down to the nearest whole square foot.
  • Room dimensions with a slanted roof are measured to a 7-foot ceiling height.

Room Dimension and Levels:

If any finished room dimensions are displayed in the lower level, then the square footage of those rooms must be included in the below-grade and total square footage fields (other than lower level finished bathrooms).

If a room in the lower level does not meet the local/state housing code for a bedroom then the room should be reported as an “other room”.


Lower Level/Basement Feature: IF there is a Full or Partial Basement reported and finished Below-Grade Finished Square Footage, members must make a selection from Finished or Partial Finished, Contiguous or Non-Contiguous Square Feet in this Feature category.

Contiguous definition: Sharing a common border; touching. Choose this if the finished areas touch each other with no unfinished areas in between.

Non-Contiguous definition: Not adjoining along a boundary or consisting of parts that adjoin. Choose this if the finished areas do not flow together, but instead do have unfinished areas in between.