Say what? 19 Real Estate Listing Terms – Translated


  • Translating list descriptions means reading between the lines.
  • The words are generally deceptive and do not reflect real estate reality.
  • The challenge is to strike a balance to achieve accurate representation with marketing appeal.

Real estate has a language of its own, and there are unique phrases and phrases used quite often, especially when viewing property listings.

It can be difficult to decipher what the listing agent really means when describing a property or a seller’s situation.

Although the Realtor uses this language on a daily basis, they often forget when writing these descriptors that the home buying and selling public has only a vague idea of ​​what the industry is talking about.

Words, depending on how they are used and in what context are subject to interpretation. So what are agents really trying to say when marketing their listings?

Here’s my “Rosetta Stone” guide to reading between the lines on several commonly used list phrases:

1. Everything about the view: Home, not so much. The focus is more on the exterior than on the interior elements. The interior of the house is going to be disappointing and might even deter a buyer. He could be dated or have a very awkward disposition that is hard to overcome.

2. All original details: This could mean anything from features like vintage hardwood floors, glass door handles and wood moldings or a very dated interior with yellow metal cabinets or avocado appliances – you get the idea.

This does not necessarily mean that the state of these items is recoverable or usable.

3. Cosy/charming/picturesque: Think small – very small – like a dollhouse with lots of stuff. The bedroom looks like a closet.

And the closet? Well, it would hardly fit anyone’s shoe by today’s standards. There’s barely room to move in the kitchen, and three people in the living room make it a party.

4. Hidden Gem/Hidden Potential: A rough diamond that is seen as an opportunity for the right buyer. Make lemons with lemonade. It can be dated, old, clunky, or present other challenges that require creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

The property is usually located in a highly desirable location that is worthwhile for the right buyer candidate.

5. Special investors: Really, really, really difficult state. Cash or a rehab loan is probably the only way to buy.

6. Live big: May seem small on paper, in square footage, but once you physically walk through the property, it seems much more spacious.

seven. Location, location, location: One of the most used expressions in real estate. This usually means a highly desirable area; however, the context of the property’s location in this area is another story.

Minutes away or around the corner from shops, restaurants and cafes, they can mean they are in the courtyard of the property or literally across the street.

Easy access to public transport or highways could mean the sound of locomotives dancing through your head each night or the roar of rush hour as a soundtrack, not a sound byte, to the everyday living ambience of home .

8. Maintained with love: Often referring to a long time owner who might be older. The house is very neat and clean, but perhaps not the most modern; think carpet and tile and white or bisque appliances versus stainless steel with an updated circa 1990 kitchen.

It’s obvious the house holds memories as it’s dotted with family photos over the years.

9. Low maintenance/turnkey: Usually means the property has a small yard, as in “barely a patch of grass”.

ten. Perfect model/ready to move in: Exactly what it says: turnkey, neutral, updated and stylish, this property has it all – upgraded appliances, beautiful ceiling fans and light fixtures in every room, designer window treatments and are nicely furnished.

No work needed. Of course, if it’s really impressive, buyers might decide that their existing furniture wouldn’t do the house justice, and they might want the seller’s furniture and accessories included.

The hitch with the perfect model or ready to move in is that the seller will order and wait for the best price.

11. Mr or Mrs Propre lives here: The phrase cleanliness is next to godliness is a shining example in this house. Someone can eat on the floor and there isn’t a speck of dust anywhere.

Nothing looks used or inhabited. There’s no clutter in wardrobes or closets – clothes all hang neatly in locked organization. The garage is cleaner inside than most houses.

The house may be dated, but the buyer doesn’t notice it due to its immaculate condition, hence the million dollar question the buyer and agent often have to ponder: “Does anyone live really here?”

12. Motivated Seller/Bring Offers/Offers Wanted: This may signal a seller’s flexibility in pricing and/or timing. This may mean that the seller has received no offers or is ready to unload the property.

They might also tell their agent that they don’t necessarily want to reduce the price, but want to encourage offers.

In the real estate world, this phrase is overused and overplayed, and if the language lingers too long, it can lose its meaning.

It is generally more effective if added for a short period of time. Agents should be careful when using the word “motivated” to describe a seller’s status, because motivation level means different things to different people.

That’s why a buyer often asks upon seeing this, “Exactly how motivated are they?”

Sellers run the risk of being called to the mat if they are tested with a low bid and an unrealistic buyer.

13. Pride of Ownership: Everything is “just like that”. The seller has maintained the house very well – the lawn is green, there are beautiful flowers and landscaping, and they have painted the exterior with a paint that lasts forever.

It’s obvious that they spent a lot of time on upkeep and maintenance. The air conditioner, water heater and roof have all been replaced. Instead of 30-year-old architectural shingles, they opted for 50-year-old architectural shingles.

Each mechanical component of the house contains the best quality element, whether it is needed or not. They even have a whole house generator.

Everything shines inside and out. The home may not be the most modern, chic, and stylish property in the neighborhood, but deferred maintenance is rarely an issue, and buyers can focus their budget on fun things, like changing counters, appliances, and more. appliances and paint colors.

14. Selling price: This usually means not a lot of room in the negotiations; this sends a signal to agents and their buyers: don’t bid low.

The seller is of the opinion that he has not overpriced the house, so he has already made a price reduction, thus saving the negotiating margin up front.

In the real world, this is not so practical.

15. Space to walk around: Not usually referred to as a farm or ranch, but rather a larger than normal piece of land in a neighborhood that has plenty of room to enjoy one-space playsets and treehouses outdoor living and a garden.

16. Serious buyers only: Codespeak for “no Sunday shoppers or open house goers”. Agents, please do not include this property as part of a “tour of the area” for a buyer who is in town to get a sense of the area.

Sellers are probably tired of getting their wheels spinned after showing up with no offers, and to put it politely, they let their agent know they were tired of the process.

17. Sold as is: That’s a short way of saying the seller doesn’t want to make any repairs, so please don’t ask or use the inspection to renegotiate the price.

Reasons for not wanting to deal with repairs vary; they might be dealing with the sale of a parent’s house, they don’t want to get into all the back and forth and drama of repair negotiations and just keep it simple.

They probably priced the house to reflect that repairs will be needed, so prepare accordingly.

This does not necessarily mean that the seller is hiding something, and the nature of the repairs can be anything from many small “fixes” to major items.

Buyers, bring in the home inspector before you pull the trigger.

18. Busy Tenant/24 Hour Notice to Show/Excuse Mess: The house is going to be hard to show off, and it’s probably not going to show off well. There probably won’t be a safe, and they might let you in as you tiptoe through piles of clutter and moving boxes.

The bedroom doors will be closed, which will make things even more unwelcoming. Forget trying to see the garage – if there is one, you won’t be able to get in.

19. TLC or special handyman: Yes, this property really needs work, and a lot! Not for the faint of heart. Hire a demolition crew, bring in the dumpster and get a contractor.

Unless you have the Property Brothers or Chip and Joanna Gaines on your side, you might be in over your head.

Although the number of phrases and descriptors that can have hidden meanings is endless; consider this your “lost in translation” guide to principals when looking at properties.

Armed with this cheat sheet, you can help decipher what awaits before you see it.

cara Ameer is an Associate Broker and Realtor with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Email Cara Ameer

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