Last Updated on April 7, 2024

What is Square Footage? | Real Estate Definition

By Alan F Macdonald

What is Square Footage?

Square footage or area, is the size of a lot or the floor space of a building or any other piece of real estate or property. It is calculated by multiplying the length by the width of the structure or land being measured.

Real Estate Agent Explains Square Footage

Square footage is used to measure any room, floor or plot of land, so it isn’t as specific as other measurements (like Total Floor Area for example), but it does give homebuyers an idea of how much they are getting for their money. This helps in comparing properties of similar values when shopping around for a home.

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For example, an average bedroom is about 100 square feet, or 9.29 square metres, so when comparing two houses, every 100 square feet of living space is about one bedroom’s worth of space.

Here is what one square foot looks like compared to a 10×10 bedroom:

An example of square footage
An example of square footage using a 100 sq ft bedroom

In Edmonton, like in the rest of Canada, the metric system is the official measurement system, but people still prefer to look at square footageinstead of square metres. Still to this day, square-footage is the prevailing term when real estate agents and homeowners talk about the area of a house or room.

It should be noted that for the square footage of a home to be counted on an MLS® listing, the area must be above grade, heated and on a finished level.

Why Does It Matter?

In the case of square footage, people generally feel that bigger is better. Larger homes and larger lots command a higher price when it comes time to sell. There is value in the amount of anything you buy and when it comes to homes and land, it’s no different. Besides location, the size of the land and the home are the biggest factors affecting real estate prices.