What constitutes a bedroom? This may seem like a rhetorical question, but actually it can be quite controversial in real estate. When marketing any property for sale, it is critical that you do not mislead the public through false advertising practices. When analyzing recent housing trends, we have seen the need for additional bedrooms increase as more and more Americans are either working or schooling from home. Needless to say, an additional bedroom that can also serve as either a home office or even a home gym can be very appealing to many homebuyers. It is for this reason that it is not uncommon for sellers to exaggerate the number of bedrooms in the home that they are selling.
Legal requirements for a bedroom
According to the Beaches MLS in South Florida, a bedroom is defined as follows: “A room that can be used for sleeping and that has a closet and a door or an entrance where a door could be reasonably installed; and has an emergency means of escape and rescue opening to the outside (i.e. window). It should be noted that if a room is being called a bedroom but does not fit these criteria, then the seller must be willing to pay for the conversion of the subject room to a bedroom upon a sale.
The National Association of Realtors® also has outlined the following six legal bedroom requirements:
- Minimum bedroom size: Although sizes can vary from state to state, 70 to 80 square feet in size is generally the acceptable minimum.
- Minimum horizontal footage: A bedroom must measure at least 7 feet in any horizontal direction.
- Two means of egress: There must be two ways out of a bedroom. Typically, this would be a door and a window.
- 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: Per these requirements, the master bedroom must have these amenities. It should be noted that a space heater does not suffice.
You will notice that these six requirements from the National Association of Realtors® do not include a closet. With this said, these guidelines may vary from state to state. As mentioned in the beginning of this article, the Beaches MLS here in South Florida does include a closet in it’s description of what constitutes a bedroom.
As Americans desire more space in the home to accommodate virtual workspaces, virtual schooling, or even a home gym, the number of bedrooms a home has becomes more important. Of course, it is important that sellers do not embellish the number of bedrooms a home has. As always, consulting with a local and knowledgeable real estate agent will be your best approach when effectively marketing your home for sale. In some cases, a simple conversion of a space in the home can result in gaining an additional bedroom. This can ultimately lead to a property selling quicker and for more a higher price.
Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the South Florida area? We can help! Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! Also, be sure to download the free Florida Home Search app for your mobile device today and have the power of the South Florida MLS right in your pocket!