There is some question in the real estate market about what exactly constitutes a bedroom. Buyers and agents both complain that some listings assert that a house has four bedrooms when in fact the house has three bedrooms and a small room with no closet or windows.
So, what exactly constitutes a bedroom? Unfortunately, no one really knows for sure.
As many of you know, my law partner Rex Casterline serves on the South Carolina Real Estate Appraisers Board. Rex confirmed that there is no specific legal definition of a bedroom and that the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) does not provide a definition of a bedroom either. Our research shows that the most commonly accepted definition of a bedroom, and the definition that architects use, is a room that is large enough for a bed and closet, with two locations for ingress and egress (either two doors or a door and a window).
Additionally, we spoke to Chris Barczak, a local residential appraiser and real estate agent. Chris stated that appraisers should look at the functional utility of a room before considering whether or not it is a bedroom. For example, if a room is far from a bathroom or if you have to enter an unheated area to reach a bathroom, the room should not be considered a bedroom. Chris said a bedroom is essentially what the market will accept as a bedroom at the time of the appraisal.
Therefore, the definition of a bedroom in South Carolina is the opinion of the appraiser.
We urge caution at claiming a room as a bedroom when it is not. First, it is against South Carolina Code §40-57-10 et. seq. to make false or misleading statements. It is also against the statute to fail to disclose a material adverse fact. An agent really does not want to be before the Real Estate Commission arguing what is and is not a bedroom.
Secondly, if the appraiser does not classify the room as a bedroom it is very likely that the house will not appraise. No one wants to have an unhappy seller when you explain why the house cannot sell for the contract sales price.
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