To be or not to be… A bedroom?

Reports are that some brokers are mischaracterizing certain rooms as “bedrooms”.

Specifically, in order to enhance the marketability of homes listed for sale, they are submitting information to multiple listing services and through advertising identifying as “bedrooms” rooms which were never designed or intended for such use.

As a result, prospective purchasers seeking homes with the number of bedrooms shown in the MLS are frustrated and angry when their agents show them homes where one or more of the “bedrooms” is clearly not suited for that purpose – even though the seller may have used the room as a bedroom.

The question then arises, “What is a bedroom?”  Although there is no clear answer, here are some factors to consider when classifying a room as a bedroom:

Is there a clothes closet in or conveniently available to the room?  However, since bedroom closets were not a common design feature in many older homes, do not disqualify rooms in these homes which do not contain closets if they were clearly intended to be used as bedrooms.

Is there sufficient space in the room to accommodate standard bedroom furniture? 8’x10’ is suggested for a single bed, and 10’x11½’ for double beds.

Does the home comply with governmental regulations (septic tank requirements, fire and safety codes, etc.) pertaining to bedrooms?  When in doubt, check with the appropriate local government agency.

To paraphrase a classic song, “A room is not a bedroom, just because there’s someone sleeping there.”  So, save potential buyers and their agents time and trouble, and save yourself possible action from the Real Estate Commission by using your common sense and exercising reasonable judgment when determining whether a room is, for listing purposes, a bedroom.

This article came from the October 2006-Vol37-2 edition of the bulletin.