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  Institute of Housing Technologies
Improving the Real Estate Information Network
Fannie Mae & Square Footage
Fannie Mae - Section 404.06 - Gross Living Area 

"The most common comparison for single-family properties is above-grade 'gross living area'.” 

A term many real estate agents don’t use or understand, is the most common comparison on the mandatory appraisal form according to Fannie Mae. We found over 100 different names and abbreviations for finished square footage in MLS systems and in county tax departments. 100 names vrs 1 name. Is there a potential mis-communication here? You better believe it! Maybe the real estate, appraisal and mortgage industries should get together and talk about square footage. Square footage is the heart of every residential CMA and appraisal, yet many MLS systems choose to ignore it altogether. In some MLS systems they do not report any square footage details in the closed transactions. Agents and appraisers have to rely on the inaccurate tax records for the square footage details they use. They continue to use square footage in every home they sale, they simply choose not to be responsible for it. Consumer protection in almost non-existent in an industry touts itself as being all about protecting the home buying public. Something is missing...