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Glossary of Real Estate Terms

Have a laugh at the following “creative” descriptions used by Realtors in describing their listings…

Since listing agents represent the seller, they sometimes tend to be a little “creative” in the wording of home descriptions they are selling. We thought it would be helpful to include our interpretation of alternative possible meanings to some commonly used phrases listing agents might use:

“No neighbors behind” — Probably backs to a busy street. Check a map before you schedule a viewing.

“Light and Bright” — Window coverings not included.

“Low Maintenance” — No yard.

“Immaculately maintained” — The orange countertops and green shag carpet are still in excellent shape.

“Mountain View” — You MIGHT be able to see some mountains from one of the rooms if you press your cheek to a window and look west, or climb on the roof.

“GREAT Mountain View” — You should be able to see mountains from one or two rooms — hopefully either the master bedroom or the living room.

“Panoramic (or fabulous, terrific, amazing, or insert similar adjective) mountain view!” — This home should have some great views. (If mountain views are what you are after, you might not want to bother with a showing unless you see a comment something like this.)

“Secluded setting” — You’ll spend in gas what you save in mortgage payment.

“Price reduced” — Even if it was a big price reduction, that still doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. (That’s where a buyer agent can step in and help you determine if it’s a good deal.)

“$2500 bonus to agent who brings a full price offer” — This is a HUGE conflict of interest. Any real estate agent who represents a buyer and advises them to pay full price just so they get a bigger commission is doing their buyer a disservice. Remember, a buyer agent’s job is to get you the best house for your needs, on the best terms possible, and at the best price possible.

“Only 15 minutes to downtown” — Sure, if you’re Mario Andretti on a closed course. A more likely commute would be 20 to 25 minutes 😉

“Backs to open area” — Beware: You might be staring at the backside of a shopping mall someday if you buy this place. (Otherwise, the description would have read “Backs to OPEN SPACE”)

Backs to “OPEN SPACE” — Open space can’t usually be developed, so the property should always back to open space, and your odds of having something built behind that property should be minimal.

“Charming” or “Cozy” — The 2nd bedroom serves as your closet.

“Needs TLC” or “Needs a little work” — Probably needs a LOT of work.

“Bring your handyman” — This house probably needs a MAJOR renovation. (Otherwise, they would have just said “Needs TLC” 😉

“Carpet allowance” — Seller will pay to replace the avocado green shag carpet.

“Pet free” — This doesn’t necessarily mean pets aren’t allowed; just that the present owners don’t have pets.

“In-law apartment” — This can be considered a “non-conforming duplex” which is a great way to get a duplex without having to pay for it. Basement might be used as a rental to subsidize your mortgage payment.

“And much, much more…” — Nothing else comes to mind about this home.

We would love the opportunity to help you “read between the lines” on the next home you buy.

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