Small Bedroom

How many times have you looked at a new house to buy and wondered, “Is this a bedroom?”

I’ve been selling real estate for 12 years and have found that I’ve been getting it wrong this whole time!

This is really helpful information, especially for sellers who are listing their home to put on the market. As a seller, you have to be totally accurate on how many bedrooms that are in your home. Laws may differ from state to state but . . .

Here’s the criteria of what makes a bedroom a bedroom:

  • Heated and Cooled – Of course, this also goes along with being counted as square footage, but a bedroom has to have a means of heating and cooling.
  • Minimum Square Feet – Nope, a closet doesn’t count. In most states, a bedroom has to be “at least” 70 to 80 square feet.
  • Horizontal Minimum – It goes a little farther than total square feet to make a bedroom. The room has to be at least 7 feet across from wall to wall.
  • Ceiling Height – At least half of the room has to be more than 7 feet tall. I remember showing a house one time time where the owners converted an upstairs room for the kids. The room looked great, but I couldn’t stand up in it (I’m 6’5″) — not a bedroom.
  • Two means of Egress – The definition of egress is the action of leaving a place. So, a bedroom must have 2 ways to leave. Obviously, a door would be one and, typically, a window would be the other but, in some cases, a skylight could be a means of egress. In most cases, a bedroom must have a window.
  • Window size – A bedroom must have a window that is a minimum of 5.7 square feet.

Where did I get it wrong all these years? I’ve always thought that a bedroom had to have a closet. Not true, and your spouse may disagree, but you are safe to call a room a bedroom if it meets the above criteria.

Newer homes won’t have these concerns but, if you live in an older home, you may. If you have a room in your house that does not meet these requirements, feel free to call it a nursery, office, or a “catch all” room.

Hope this helps! Please contact me if you are buying or selling in the lower Alabama real estate market.

Jeff Nelson
IXL Real Estate – Eastern Shore

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.