The number of bedrooms is critically important for a home, after all, it is one of the core criteria most buyers search by when looking to purchase or rent a home. What qualifies as a bedroom is largely misunderstood by many agents and consumers so we thought we’d help to clarify what a room in a residential dwelling must have in order to be classified as a bedroom under Florida Building Code.
According to section 200 of the Florida Building Code, a bedroom is defined as a room that can be used for sleeping and that:
- For site-built dwellings has a minimum of 70 square feet of conditioned space
- For manufactured homes is constructed according to the standards of the Housing and Urban Development and has a minimum of 50 square feet of floor area;
- Is located along an exterior wall;
- Has a closet and a door or an entrance where a door could be reasonable installed; and
- Has an emergency means of escape and rescue opening to the outside in accordance with the Florida Building Code.
- A room may not be considered a bedroom if it is used to access another room except a bathroom or closet
A BEDROOM'S IMPACT ON PRICING PROPERTY
It is critically important for a licensed real estate agent to be able to properly prepare a detailed Comparative Market Analysis for property owners looking to sell their homes. An agent only gets one chance to help the sellers get their home on the market at the right price and understanding the subject property’s features and benefits is the cornerstone of this process. The number of bedrooms determines the comparable properties an agent will use to determine the subject property’s market value. You would not use 2-bedroom homes to determine the market value of a 3-bedroom home, would you? Of course not.
A BEDROOM'S IMPACT ON A BUYER'S SEARCH
Next, let’s talk about the practical side of the listing and selling of a home… getting in front of potential buyers.
If there is a family that has two children and one of the spouses works from home and needs a home office, they are going to need a 3-bedroom home with a bonus room or a 4-bedroom home. If a listing broker lists a home in the MLS as a 3-bedroom home with one of the bedrooms not having a closet, this is an issue. The buyers will tour the home and then more than likely move on to another showing wasting the listing broker’s time and more importantly, the seller’s time. This also has a negative impact on the listing broker’s reputation amongst their peers.
A BEDROOM'S IMPACT ON financing
The last area we will talk about is how a home’s bedrooms impact the appraisal and ultimately the financing. As we established earlier, there is a significant impact on a property’s value based on the number of bedrooms. Let’s go back to the example from above. If the 3-bedroom home that had included a bedroom that didn’t have a closet was being evaluated by an appraiser, the appraiser would have to follow Florida’s Building Code to determine to value the home as a 2-bedroom or a 3-bedroom. If the buyers are under contract for a price based on comparable three-bedroom homes, the appraisal will more than likely come in significantly lower than the contracted price. This could potentially result in a cancelled contract and wasted time and money for the buyers.
As real estate professionals, consumers place a lot of trust in us. It is our job to ensure that we are up to speed on all the relevant laws, administrative rules, and codes that impact our profession. If a seller insists on you listing a 2-bedroom home as a 3-bedroom home you should try to convince them to list it properly or you should walk away from the listing. No commission is worth you sacrificing your ethics or your reputation.