The RMS offers a consistent means of representing a property’s above grade space. Among other things, the RMS sets out what parts of a property can be included in its measured-area. For example, if a room has a dormer with a ceiling height of only 4 feet, is it included as floor space? What about finished basements that are entirely below grade? The RMS information benefits consumers because:
When stating a residential property’s area, your real estate representative must follow the RMS principles:
You must ensure your clients understand the RMS and its implications. This discussion will help them make informed decisions about the size and suitability of properties.
The RMS gives consumers and industry professionals accurate and consistent property measurements, which they can use to compare properties and determine their suitability. Proper application of the RMS ensures real estate professionals provide reliable and verifiable property size and dimensions.
It depends on the type of property you are measuring.
No. You can use long runs.
To compare different types of residential properties, real estate professionals can provide an additional measurement for attached properties using the property’s exterior. Real estate professionals must base this additional measurement on reasonable assumptions about the exterior wall thickness, and can extrapolate the exterior wall thickness from the thickness of the exterior door casings and/ or exterior window casings. If real estate professionals provide additional measurements based on exterior assumptions, they must make it clear it is not the RMS area for the property, and explain their assumptions.
It depends on the seller’s direction. Sellers are not required to represent the size of their property; however:
If the seller wants you to communicate the size of the listing and/or the listing service/property database has a mandatory property size field, it must be the RMS.
No. You can measure the property yourself or you can engage another qualified person to measure it using the RMS. To determine whether someone is competent to measure properties in accordance with the RMS, you might ask them to detail:
In addition, you should ensure the person or service has Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance for their measurement services.
The RMS provides an exception for properties that are entirely below grade. The outcome of this exception means that if apartments in a building were the same and were one level, there would be no discrepancy between all ofthe apartments in the building except that the apartments below grade would have a clarification to say that the entire property is below grade. To be consistent with this outcome, you can include the below grade portion in your local board’s RMS field, but you will need to identify size of the area that is below grade in the public comments of the listing information. You may also provide additional information that would be of value to the marketing of the property such as identifying the depth of the level below grade. This approach will also be applicable for stacked townhouses with identical units.
No. Real estate professionals have an obligation to their clients to perform their due diligence. Measuring the property according to the RMS or having it measured by a qualified individual is part of that due diligence. There is no guarantee as to the accuracy of the previous listing’s measurements and the property may have been renovated or added to since it was last listed which could have changed its area measurements.
However, there are some limited circumstances when re-measuring is not required. Re-measuring is not required when renewing a recently expired listing or the property is a rental unit with a property management agreement that indicates the property will be listed for rent multiple times during the agreement as vacancies arise.
No. You must use the RMS.
The Condominium Unit Registered Size was not intended to enable size comparisons between properties. The purpose of the Condominium Unit Registered Size is to calculate the condominium unit’s “unit factor”. The condominium registered size does not provide proper comparisons between units in the same condominium or between units from different condominiums, as the CURS can include items, such as garages, parking spaces, separate storage areas, below grade areas, and balconies
If the RMS is larger than the condominium unit registered size, you should recheck your calculations. In the majority of cases, the condominium unit registered size will be larger than the RMS size because most condominium unit registered sizes include wall thickness and other areas such as such as garages, parking spaces, separate storage areas, below grade areas, and balconies.
The seller may have purchased the property under a different size standard that provides a larger size value by including areas that are not included as part of the RMS.
It is important for you to discuss this with the seller. When buyers purchase resale residential properties, there is often a correlation between the property size and the sale price, but the correlation is not proportional. The property’s size is only one of many factors that influence the sale price. Other factors include the property’s location, layout, style, modernization, finishing, amenities, etc.
Explain to the seller that their property has not shrunk, and that all real estate professionals who are listing properties will measure according to the RMS so there is consistency, and there will not be a competitive disadvantage. If the seller’s property is attached and you believe buyers will compare it to detached properties, you can advise the seller that you will also communicate the assumed exterior size.
RECA only has jurisdiction through the Real Estate Act over real estate, mortgage brokerage, real estate appraisal, and property management professionals.