9 Phrases to Watch Out for in Listings

Real Estate Agents have a special way of spinning “less than ideal” qualities about a home with creative copywriting. Read between the lines when you see these words to understand what they are really saying about the home.

1. Cozy / Cottage / Quaint

While this is a nice way to describe a home, oftentimes what the agent is covering up is the cramped, small nature of the home.

2. One of a Kind, Unique, Customized

Many homeowners make a lot of special adjustments to their home to meet their needs. While this could be a way of saying there are some quality customizations included in the home, it may also be a nice way of addressing some weird, unnecessary changes that have been made.

3. Amazing Potential / Investor Special / Needs TLC

These are words that really mean the home is in rough condition. Unless you’re looking to flip and sell/rent the home, this home is not a great option for you.

4. Original Details In Store

The positive insinuated behind these words is the historical, rich nature of the home. You might imagine beautiful hardwood floors and ornate details that haven’t been erased. The flipside is the reality that things probably haven’t been updated in quite a while and the home might need quite a bit of work.

5. Lovingly Maintained

This usually means that the owner is on the older side. They probably took care of the home very well, but there may be a lot of older appliances/details that need to be updated.

6. Hot Area, Up and Coming Neighborhood

These words give the impression that a neighborhood is experiencing fast growth and impressive development. However, the reality may be that a struggling town or rough area is just starting to see some improvement and it may still not be the best place to own a home.

7. Looking for Motivated Buyer

This usually means that the seller has had a difficult time selling the home. Depending on the market, this doesn’t always mean that something is wrong with the home. But do your homework. Their asking price may be too high, or there may be something wrong with the home under the surface.

8. Perfect Location

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a perfect location. However, you need to be sure that the actual home is in a good spot within that location. A good town doesn’t always mean a good neighborhood, and a good city doesn’t always mandate a good block.

9. All About the View

It’s nice to have a home with a beautiful view. Many times, however, agents will highlight the view when the home itself leaves much to be desired.

The key behind decoding a real estate listing is to always think of the flip-side of the coin. Don’t assume that agents are intending to be forthcoming about every negative a home has to offer – they are brilliant marketers who tend to be convincing in their copywriting to get you in the door – and then let you in on all the details. Be wise, and read between the lines so you don’t waste time looking at homes that aren’t for you.

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