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What Your Realtor Really Means: Agent Jargon Decoded

Kristin Crosier


44 articles, 3 comments

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How To Read: Real Estate Adverts Edition

Cartoon courtesy of Alistair Nisbit

Have you ever made the mistake of checking out a property with “good bones”? What about one with a conveniently sized “junior bedroom”? Or maybe you discovered a house that was listed as having “in-law potential” (one with theoretical space for an additional room or apartment)?

If you have, you’ve already received a rude awakening about the nature of the real estate market. And for those who have yet to see what that “efficiency kitchen” you were sweet-talked into viewing really looks like, your moment will soon come. (Get a head start on learning the lingo here.)

  • FYI: It doesn’t refer to how the space will adequately accommodate your plus-size appliances

Cute is To Comfy as Rustic is To Charming

Since some of our own employees have been shopping for new homes, we’ve started noticing how deceiving—and yes, amusing—real estate lingo can be. Just sift through the latest real estate advertisements and you’ll find an abundance of indecipherable descriptions. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • A “cute house”—or, the convenience of cleaning dishes while using the toilet
  • Great starter home”—AKA, if you’re lucky, it has a sturdy roof and four walls

What is it that makes a good Real Estate Agent Great, By seekingthomas

While agents may try to convince you that it’s the language of persuasion, we’re busy wondering how such ridiculous descriptions were created in the first place. Most real estate jargon is closer to fabrication than reality, as you’ll soon notice:

  • Don’t be surprised if you check out a property where “needs TLC” actually means “use of any plumbing feature will result in a startling shower of hazardous waste”
  • Also pay attention to how agents brand themselves—”top producers” likely have a measly number of clients, while “local experts” know about as much of the area as someone across the country who’s never heard of the city

A Handy Infographic for Deciphering Real-Estate Speak

Here, you’ll find Movoto Real Estate’s own interpretation of common real estate jargon that we’ve heard about (or unfortunately had directed at us). Feel free to consider it a guide for maneuvering your next housing adventure, or for use if you’re in need of a good laugh. Forget memes and Tumblr—a glimpse at our infographic should give you a glorious moment of uncontrollable giggles. It did for us.

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Looking for a new home? Movoto’s got you covered. With millions of listings, plenty of property information, and established agents all over the country, we make finding your future home simple. And when you’re ready to take a break from browsing homes, you can always come back here to learn more about your favorite cities.

posted on: July 19, 2012
1,641 views, 1 comment

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One Comment

  1. harry

    Don’t be surprised if you check out a property where “needs TLC” actually means “use of any plumbing feature will result in a startling shower of hazardous waste”


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