Chicago’s MLS now requires square footage, but don’t expect to see it on all listings

Should square footage be required?

Should square footage be required?

We Realtors are now required to enter a value for approximate square footage (ASF) for our listings in Chicago’s MLS (multiple listing system). However, that value can be zero. In addition, Chicago’s MLS now requires the source of the square footage information (e.g. builder, assessor, appraiser). Listings with a square footage of zero automatically have the source set to “not reported”.

What do you think? Should Chicago’s MLS require square footage other than zero?

Recommend this on Google


Fran Bailey Fran Bailey is a Realtor who has been quoted in numerous Chicago and national publications. To schedule showings for any listings, get a free market analysis for your home or to contact Fran email her at or call 773.793.4516. Learn More


  1. Edmundo says

    If I were buying, I would want to see square footage. If I were selling, it depends. Do most of the listings provide it?

  2. Ron says

    Yes, absolutely. Coming from the West Coast we found it very unhelpful that listings did not have sq. footage, as we expected it

  3. Diane says

    How ridiculous to “require” square footage, but accept 0! Why bother? Sellers who don’t provide square footage aren’t doing themselves any favors by making it harder for the buyers to figure out how big (or small) their places are. The idea of a listing is to provide information. How large a home is is not insignificant.

  4. says

    Hi Diane, I suspect that this change by Chicago’s MLS is just a first step towards requiring a valid square footage in the future. Measuring square footage isn’t as straightforward as most people think. I can see why they’re going slow on this.

  5. says

    Fran you didn’t share your viewpoint on it. What do you think? Personally, I think it’s a nice to have, but not a deal breaker. After all, two homes can have almost equal amounts of square footage, yet one could have a better layout and more storage than the other.

  6. says

    Thank you for asking, Icarus! I think that the real estate industry first needs to establish a methodology for measuring square footage and then ensure that such a methodology is followed. Until we can agree on how we’re going to measure square footage, requiring a value that may or may not be correct will be of limited value.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>