What is that real estate listing really saying?

What is that real estate listing really saying?

  • Debby Belt
  • 11/28/23

Like most businesses, real estate has its own language. As a realtor, I read listings carefully and use my experience and intuition to interpret what my colleagues are really saying.

I also create MLS listings to communicate messages—subtly and more directly. When I write the copy for a listing, I try to avoid hyperbole. I’d rather have a potential buyer be pleasantly delighted on the upside than disappointed or feeling misled.

Here’s the “411” on some of the most common open-to-interpretation real estate listings I’m seeing these days:

  1. Diamond in the rough; original owner; lovingly maintained. All code for the house needs work. As a selling agent, I typically signal if a property needs lots of work, so buyers have few surprises.
  2. Parlor level. Often a more glamorous term for basement level.
  3. Great commuter location. Might mean the property has great access to transit and downtown. Could also be on a highway or back up to public transportation.
  4. Seller is flexible. Usually indicates the seller is exceptionally eager to sell!
  5. Seller requires 48-hour notice. Seller and/or agent could be difficult to work with.
  6. Seller will leave the swing set, pool table, and pull-out couch as “gifts” to new owner. There’s junk on the property that the seller doesn’t want to remove!

Don’t see a term you’ve always been curious about? Email or DM me. I’m happy to translate!

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