Shopping for a Home? How to Read Realtor Ads

When you read real estate ads, do you ever wonder if the homes match up to the description?Read Behind the Realtor's Ads

Some ads seem less about highlighting the positives and more about cleverly repositioning the problems.  Cozy, intimate and efficient actually mean, tiny, cramped and dark.  “Freeway Close” means backing to the on ramp and “Needs TLC” means bulldozer special.

That this trend still exists is all the more amusing in light of the fact that most homes have pictures, readily available, on the internet.  “Hello!!!  We can see that your “cozy” Family Room is the size of a walk in closet and covered in fake walnut paneling, Mr. Realtor!”

With that idea in mind, here are some of the more amusing advertising lines and the truth they conceal.   I pulled every one of these from recent property ads!

Well maintained- hasn’t been remodeled since the Kennedy years.

Vintage- hasen’t been remodeled since the Great Depression

Close to transportation– the bus stops, literally, under the front balcony

Close to shops, restaurant and transportation– the house is nothing to brag about

Close to schools– all manner of traffic clogs your street at 8 AM and at 3 PM every day

Stable neighborhood – lots of old people live here

Gourmet Kitchen– the most over used phrase in Real Estate.  Granite and stainless steel does not a gourmet make.  A fig, olive and thyme tapenade over fresh goat cheese- now, that’s gourmet, baby!

Designer “whatever”– granite, brushed nickle and dark wood are involved.  The color story involves warm brown/beige with rich cranberry accents.  I am pretty sure the “designer” is whomever the over excited and impossibly beautiful host of the latest HGTV hit show might be.

Peek-a-boo view– ok, so if you stick your head out the master bedroom window and turn 45 degrees to the right you can see a tiny glimmer of the ocean.  On a clear day.  Which happens approximately 3 times a year.

Easy care yard– lots of concrete or bare dirt, no grass or anything living.

Well Loved Family Home– Ma and Pa Kent raised 6 boys and 3 grandkids before deciding to retire to Miami.  The family has loved every blade of grass, every fiber of the carpet and every surface of that home right down to the bare nub.  Like Ma and Pa Kent, this house it tired and needs an complete overhaul!

Executive Home– this definition is unique to Glendale.  This home either has no yard or lots of stairs.  Probably both.  It is too big and/or expensive for young buyers and it is not small kid (or old knees) friendly enough for second home buyers

View! View! View! If the ad says this, without mentioning a yard, means the home is hanging off a cliff.

Just for fun, I thought I would write a completely honest ad.  This is what I imagine it would say…

‘Dozer Special!

Tiny house that is completely worn out. Original plumbing, ancient electrical and the air conditioning comes from opening the windows.  Schools are crappy bu there is a view- of the town dump. Lot is a good size but soil clean up might be necessary. Seller is hoping some chump will make a high offer, but the Realtor is desperate to make a sale. Bring any offer today!

Enjoy life.  It is a lot of fun!


About Kendyl Young

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