The Unconditional Blog

The impartial voice of the industry


“Real estate speak” – what the agent is really saying!

Posted on: February 29th, 2008 | Filed in The lighter side

Real estate is an industry full of cliches and language all of its own, and at the same time is is well recognised for what is known as “puffery” – which is a legal term which refers to promotional statements and claims that no reasonable person would take literally! Interesting that, when put in the context of real estate with all its associated risk and commitments.

Anyway this post is on a lighter note.

I had been looking for quite a while to be able to quote the kind of true interpretation of much used “real-estate-speak”and I found this article within a specialised wiki set up by Inman Publishing – a specialised real estate publisher that hosts the twice annual Real Estate Connect conference which I attended in January and spoke of in the post on video blogs.

So if you have ever wondered the true meaning behind “bring your paintbrush”, “Motivated sellers”, “updated kitchen” or “cozy” then have a read and a smile at these – and of course if you have experienced another one or have an idea for a new one then post a comment here.

On the other hand you would like to better understand the true definition of some more specialised terms on real estate I would encourage you to have a sort through our on line glossary of over 150 terms on the website.

Additional Content

I found this today in a book I had at home “It’s not rocket science and other irritating modern cliches” – so with due reference to the authors Clive Whichelow and Hugh Murray, some amusing real estate cliches:

Bijou – Cramped

Compact – Very cramped

Convenient for local schools – Convenient for several thousand local schoolchildren passing through your front garden; their parents parking their SUV’s across your lawn and half a ton of sweet wrappers stuffed through your letterbox every morning and afternoon.

Deceptively spacious – Cramped even if you are a midget contortionist

I could see you in this place – Seeing that this is a phrase uttered by the agent while he/she is in the property showing round the potential purchasers, it doesn’t require a huge leap of immagination

If you don’t snap this up, someone else will – In other words, “Why don’t you just get your chequebook out now and let me get on with the rest of my day?”

In need of modernisation – Which means, “how this building remains standing is something of a mystery”

It’s got potential – This house is a wreck

Much sought-after – Sales agents will tell you that every house on their books is “much sought-after”. If they are all so “much sought-after”, why are agents necessary? Couldn’t you just sell your house to one of the vast hordes of people coming in each day and night seeking it?

Original features – The property benefits from many “original features”. In other words the place hasn;t had any work done on it since 1974

Popular area – Yes, of course it’s a popular area. People live there. They live there because once upon a time someone built some houses there. It is therefore a popular area!

Spectacular view – This property has a spectacular view – well, it would if you removed all the other buildings round it

This one’s going to go quickly – I am waiting for to get your chequebook out!

Up-and-coming area – If you move into this area you will be a bit like a pioneer staking your claim in a wild, lawless territory

Vibrant area – Probably vibrating with the sound of 500-watt loudspeaker systems, the rumble of riot-squad trucks and sub-machine-gun fire

(The) wow factor – All houses put up for sales these days must have a “wow factor”. This is often a nice fireplace in the front room or it could be a sacrificial altar in the guest bedroom

You could build on it – Said even when the property involved already has 36 storeys

Article Discussion

  1. John says:

    You may find the new wiki exclusively focussed on real estate also a handly resource to research for terms, definitions and acronyms. The site is at

  2. John

    Thanks for pointing this out – best of luck – will be a valuable service to interested readers. It will be a US based wiki, but there are a surprising commonality of terms but obviously country specific regulations and laws will have to be understood as a cautionary notes for New Zealanders.

    Another great wiki (albeit in its early days) is Inman Wiki. I am a firm fan of Inman – Brad Inman runs the best conference for real estate – Real Estate Connect.

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