You Call THAT A Bedroom??

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

Liar?You Call THAT A Bedroom??

When trying to sell a home, everyone wants to make the home as appealing as possible.  Capturing all the features and changes to attract the buyers is critical.  But one feature we've often seen stretched is the number of bedrooms a home has.

When you check the legal records and see one less bedroom than the MLS is reporting, you immediately have to wonder exactly where that extra bedroom materialized.  More often than not, that extra "bedroom" is in the basement.  By itself, that's not a bad thing.  It's probably quieter, probably cooler, probably more private.  But is it safe & is it really a bedroom?

We're not building code experts by any means, but the definition we've always heard is two means of exit and a closet.  Now frankly we're not overly concerned about the closet part.  Put in a big armoire and you're probably good to go.  Chances are this extra bedroom is just a guest room.
glass block
But it's the two safe means of egress that we see routinely violated.  Let's play worst case here.  Is it a bedroom or a deathtrap?  Say you have a fire in the gas furnace.....which just happens to be a few feet away from the bedroom door.  Where are you going to go?  Out the window of course!  Oh....<insert appropriate comic cursing here>, that window is 6 feet off the floor, and 1 foot by two wide....and in a recessed window well outside.  And did we mention it's glass block, solid as a wall?  That "bedroom" is now a human BBQ pit.

To legitimately call this room a bedroom, you need a true egress window.  Maybe it's possible to have a professional cut the foundation walls and install an egress capable window, but if not, DON'T call that room a bedroom!  You know how to make a potential buyer mad?  Bring them to your home under false pretenses.  Works every time!  And we're not even touching those 5 foot by 8 foot spaces we've seen called a bedroom that you'd be lucky to fit a twin bed into.

So before you call that extra room a bedroom, make sure you can actually call it a bedroom!  Truth in advertising really counts!

Serving Warren County's residential real estate needs,
Liz and Bill aka BLiz

Posted by

REALTORS(S) Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth & William Spear
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Liz direct:  513-265-3004
Bill direct: 513-520-5305     
Fax: 866-302-8418

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
729,899
David Shamansky
US Mortgages - David Shamansky - Highlands Ranch, CO
Creative, Aggresive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtgs

LOL - this is a funny post but oh so true. Yes you are factually correct you need a closet and a safe means of exit and without it (and agreed and 8 x 5 is not a room its a nice closet) you certainly dont need to get potential buyers to your door to piss them off that will NEVER work

Apr 23, 2012 07:44 PM #76
Ambassador
1,490,301
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

David, Always like to have some humor in our posts if we can :)  And unfortunately for agents & sellers, buyers don't have much of a sense of humor about being tricked into seeing a home.

Apr 23, 2012 07:48 PM #77
Rainmaker
156,802
George Bennett
Inactive - Port Orford, OR
Inactive Principal Broker, GRI

Great point with a good example to make your point. Thanks for posting.

Apr 23, 2012 08:05 PM #78
Rainmaker
1,068,948
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

This type of thing seems to happen far to often..  I am always telling sellers/buyers to check with the town and the fire department to insure that a room can legally be called a bedroom... and also the size of the septic must be taken into account as well.

Apr 23, 2012 08:17 PM #79
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

George, You're welcome!

Joan, All things to factor in as to what can legally be supported by the home.

Apr 23, 2012 08:20 PM #80
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1,231,775
Tammie White
Benchmark Realty, LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.TWRealtyGroup.net - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN, South of Nashville

Bliz, I once showed a house that had three bedrooms. Unfortunately, one of the rooms was 6x9. Barely big enough to be a laundry room. There were 2 exits but no closet and there's no way a wardrobe would have fit.

Apr 23, 2012 08:47 PM #81
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Tammy, I think the smallest we ever saw claimed would have struggled to fit a baby crib in it.  A glorified closet was what it really was.  Nope, our buyers didn't like that much.

Apr 24, 2012 03:21 AM #82
Rainmaker
575,211
Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer
Bill and Liz. Those tiny bedrooms are really just nooks with a fancy name. You cannot imagine how many dank dark basement rooms I have seen that the owners want to call bedrooms. I even had one client say to count the rumpus room as a bedroom. Arg!!!
Apr 24, 2012 03:43 AM #83
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Valerie, They all see that +1 to the bedroom count as some huge bump in asking price, but it's a double whammy if done.  Any buyer's agent worth their salt will discount that bedroom and then the sellers are insulted at a 3 bedroom price offer rather than a 4 bedroom price they wanted.  Playing games with this just doesn't win.

Apr 24, 2012 03:52 AM #84
Rainmaker
1,089,138
Ginny Gorman
Phillips Post Road Realty ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

BLiz, i should have done a similar post on my neighbor who rents a waterview house with 2 bedrooms with one as big, no kidding, 6' by 6', you can bearly get a mattress in there...there is something called a window in it but considering the 'largeness' of people today I'm not sure someone could make it out in case of emergency.

Apr 24, 2012 04:00 AM #85
Rainmaker
1,915,160
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I have had sellers who wanted me to write vague descriptions so that buyers would come and see the house . I explained that it is misleading and they will find out when they come anyway.

Apr 24, 2012 04:10 AM #86
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Ginny, We've got one bedroom that is 10 x 10 and that seems tiny, a 6 x 6 is smaller than some walk in closets we've seen.

Gita, Just better to be upfront with the buyers from the start.  You get a more interested buyer coming in the door who won't be unhappy with what they find.

Apr 24, 2012 05:37 AM #87
Rainmaker
651,118
Richard & Beth Witt
RE/MAX Wittney Estates 516-795-6900 www.longislandrealestatesearch.com - Massapequa, NY
Broker/Owner RE/MAX Wittney Estates Long Island NY

88 Comments ! OMG you guys are something else... Yeah... All that aside the post is great... so often we see that and that is why I always ask our agents to preview a house before a showing but of course that is seldom possible or at least that is what they tell me... In NY bedrooms in a basement are illegal but that doesn't stop folks from having them or agents from listing them as bedrooms on the listing... Have a Blessed day!

Apr 24, 2012 06:28 AM #88
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Beth, Always helps the comment count to get a Feature :)  I can't say we preview, just not enough hours in the day.  We're relying on the listing agents to be honest, unfortunately that's not always the case.

Apr 24, 2012 06:48 AM #89
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Joni Staples
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®
It only has to have a closet to call it a bedroom here. But... I would call it a bonus room or den.
Apr 24, 2012 07:08 AM #90
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Joni, It definitely seems like there's no universal requirement across the country.  Once again, real estate is local.

Apr 24, 2012 07:12 AM #91
Rainmaker
610,738
Don Sabinske
Don Sabinske, Sabinske & Associates Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
Sabinske & Associates Inc.

Unless it has a ceiling, flooring, a closet and a reasonable egress window, I don't count it.  Simple.  Good rant.

Apr 24, 2012 07:23 AM #92
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Don, We'll trade the egress window for a 2nd doorway out in the right circumstances, but we'd prefer a good window letting the light in.

Apr 24, 2012 07:43 AM #93
Rainmaker
171,049
Dale Samples
304.741.4705 • www.dalesamples.com - Charleston, WV
REALTOR -Homes for Sale Charleston, West Virgini

I never thought of the fire aspect of it. But I hate when agents misrepresent something just to get people in the door. why do you want to waste your sellers time as well?

Apr 25, 2012 11:10 AM #94
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Dale, We only want interested buyers with correct information looking at our listings.  Why have our sellers leave for anything else?

Apr 25, 2012 12:57 PM #95
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