What Qualifies as a Mansion?

The term “mansion” gets thrown around quite a bit. Maybe it conjures certain associations in your mind: Grand, winding staircases. Mighty marble columns. Extravagantly manicured yards or pool areas. Sheer, breathtaking size.

It might surprise you to learn that real estate professionals have some specific criteria they use to determine whether a home truly qualifies as a mansion. Whether you’re house hunting or looking for a chance to get your home sold, it can be helpful to know what does and doesn’t qualify as a true mansion. Here are a few guidelines for you to keep in mind.

Thinking About Size

Let’s start with the question of size. How much square footage does a house need in order for it to constitute a mansion?

It depends on who you ask. The dictionary definition is pretty vague, simply noting that mansions tend to be on the large side. Some real estate organizations put the threshold for mansion status at 5,000 square feet, though others estimate that it’s more like 8,000.

There may not be a single, agreed-upon number, but these are some of the figures you can keep in mind as you think about how to categorize your own real estate listing.

Labeling Your House a Mansion

That brings up another important question: When you’re selling your own property, is it ever appropriate to refer to it as a mansion?

Technically, if it meets the reasonable size qualifications we listed above, you can call it a mansion in your real estate listing.

With that said, most agents would discourage you from using the term mansion unless you’re listing a historic home that has traditionally been called a mansion or has that word in its official name.

Because the word mansion is so nebulous, it’s generally not going to be a super helpful term to you when selling your own property.

Beyond Size: What Else is Required?

As you think further about whether your home (or the house you’re hoping to buy) is truly a mansion, note that it’s not just about square footage. It’s possible for even a very large home to feel light on luxury, short on amenities. Indeed, a true mansion should impress not just with its size, but also its comforts and features.

Here are a few things a mansion should have, in addition to its square footage.

  • Extravagant grounds. It’s generally expected that a mansion be surrounded by rolling greenery, hiking trails, gatehouses, benches, small ponds, etc. The overall appearance of the lawn and grounds should be immaculate.
  • Leisure space. It’s also anticipated that a mansion have plenty of space set aside for leisure, whether that means an in-house movie theater, a fully equipped gym, or a generous indoor spa area. In historic mansions, the leisure space may be more like a greenhouse, library, or music room.
  • Places to entertain. If you wanted to have a large social gathering, your mansion should accommodate it! That means having spaces set aside to entertain such as a billiards room, a ballroom, or simply some big areas in which people can congregate and mingle.
  • High-end materials. Finally note that mansions are expected to be built from the most lavish and high-quality materials. With a true mansion, the workmanship should never appear shoddy or second-rate.

The bottom line: A mansion tends to be quite a large home, but that’s not the only requirement. In order to call your property a mansion, you also want to make sure it exudes luxury, elegance, and comfort. This is all important to keep in mind whether you’re looking to buy a mansion or get one sold.

The Best Way to Sell a House

Indeed, if you’re looking for the best way to sell a house, it’s important to know just how your property should be classified; what language you can use for describing it. In addition, you’ll want to think through all the different avenues for selling, from working with a real estate agent to selling to an iBuyer to going the FSBO route.

As you consider your options, make sure you consult with your personalized SOLD.com seller’s report. It’s available for free, and we welcome you to claim yours right now!