When you look at enough houses for sale online, you learn how to translate real estate listings. It’s not hard. You just have to have a bit of marketing mindset. And be really good at spin. Or lying.
I’m going to share everything I’ve learned about real estate from doing online searches. You see, I’ve cracked the code. The secret code that tells you exactly what the description of the house really means.
I’ve found that the marketing description given in the MLS (multiple listing service) is a good indicator as to what I can really expect for a certain property. I’ve also found that the leading language is usually the most telling. In my own personal searches, I’ve come across more descriptions that I can count.
What Real Estate Descriptions Really Mean
I am now proud to say that I know with certainty what many of these mean…
“Swim all year!” = The pool is the best thing this house has going for it.
“One floor living with no steps” = Perfect for old people!
“Very clean” = We made them clean things up.
“REGULAR SALE!!!” = Yes, some people just sell their house for the fun of it!
“MASSIVE 50K PRICE REDUCTION!!” = This thing has been sitting on the market for 451 days. Can someone please buy it?
“CHARACTER & CHARM GALORE!!” = Old house that needs serious renovation.
“GREAT POTENTIAL” = Needs a lot of work. (I mean, they didn’t even use an exclamation point.)
“Seller is very motivated” = Seller is desperate.
“OLD WORLD CHARM ABOUNDS” = Isn’t it pretty? Oh, don’t mind that wiring mess over there.
“ORIGINAL OWNER” = There’s only one person to blame for the lack of upkeep
“POSSIBLE SUB-DIVISION OF PROPERTY” = The house is a piece of crap but it’s got a lot of land so maybe you can get your money back.
“RAISED RANCHER IN SECLUDED SETTING” = It’s kind of creepy so you might want to pack heat.
“Bigger than it looks!” = I know it looks like a double-wide but we swear it’s big inside!
“MOVING IN PROGRESS-IGNORE BOXES” =The house is messy and the owners don’t care so we’re trying to cover for them.
“A small business owner’s dream!” = There’s a weird outbuilding on the property that we didn’t know how to market.
“SO QUIET-YOU CAN HEAR A PIN DROP!” = This house is truly out in the middle of nowhere.
“Looking for a large luxurious lot?” = By the way, if you want a nice house to go on it, better bring a bulldozer.
“Your wait for that special property is over!” = I’m coming on too strong, aren’t I?
“Private backyard w/ HOT TUB” = You know what I’m sayin’, right? Right, baby?
“Deceptively large!!!” = We know it looks like a rinky dink house but please look inside.
“Well built brick home” = It’s not like those other homes where the brick just falls apart.
“Lovingly restored home” = The owners did a half-assed job instead of hiring professionals.
“Rustic home!” = Prepare yourself for some serious spiders here.
“WHEN EVERY DETAIL MATTERS, U WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED” = I just hope you won’t be disappointed that I forgot the detail of spelling out the word “YOU.”
I actually would like a spacious, charming, exquisite home on a private lot with a park-like setting. I think the real problem is that these are all relative terms. Your ‘spacious’ may be my cramped.
Safety Words in Real Estate Searches
I can tell you though, there are some safety words in real estate. Words that are generic enough to apply to almost anyone’s house. If you are looking to market your home, just make sure to use some of these descriptors:
Actually, I wouldn’t mind it if people described me that way. Except for the wooded part. That would be kind of weird.
Have you figured out how to translate real estate listings? Once you know the code, it’s not hard!