What your real-estate agent is really telling you

Large mansion with outdoor swimming pool.

Not-so-useful real-estate advice

Real-estate professionals speak a language all their own. However, with the right training (and a couple of evening real-estate courses), you, too, can comprehend the baffling jargon agents use to confound their clients — as well as impress each other.

“Today we’re going to be looking at a cozy bungalow that’s right in your price range.”

“I’m showing you this miniscule dump because it’s all you can afford.”

“With your budget, we’re going to have trouble finding a home that has all of the features you’re looking for.”

“You’re too destitute to afford anything nice.”

“The home just needs a little TLC.”

“This rat-infested pile of crap needs to be completely demolished and rebuilt from the ground up.”

“Wall colors are easy to fix.”

“Obviously, I’ve never touched a paintbrush in my entire life.”

“The kitchen appliances might need updating.”

“Your great-grandmother used to cook with a stove like this.”

“The carpets do show some wear.”

“Be sure to wipe off your shoes before stepping outside.”

“The backyard is a blank slate for your imagination.”

“This patch of weeds would look nice with a fence, some lawn and a couple of trees.”

“You could build your dream home here.”

“Here’s a vacant lot. I give up. Do whatever you want.”

“You might have to duck to get through the doorway.”

“Please excuse the low ceilings; a family of hobbits used to live here.”

“I’m not sure you’re seeing the big picture.”

“You’re bellyaching about brass cabinet handles and completely ignoring the rest of the house.”

“There aren’t many listings available that offer the features you’re looking for.”

“No house will ever be good enough for you.”

“You may not have noticed, but you have views of downtown from this balcony.”

“This million-dollar vista might not have leapt right out at you because you have to lean over the railing, squint your eyes, peer through your neighbor’s trees, and stretch your neck to see it.”

“I wanted to show you this amazing property, even though it’s above your budget.”

“I know I’m not going to make much of a commission off you, but you can’t blame me for trying.”

“I’m really excited to show you this property.”

“I’m praying you’ll actually buy a house one of these days so I can pay my bills.”

“Yes, the counters are granite and not quartz, but look at the shape they’re in.”

“The granite countertops are perfectly adequate, you entitled jerk. Quit turning up your nose at everything.”

“Keep in mind that location is everything.”

“This deteriorating hovel is only a mile from downtown, so it’s worth the $500,000 price tag.”

“I understand that the bedroom window faces your neighbor’s house, but you can always put up blinds.”

“I’m trying really hard not to be a sarcastic SOB, and I’m failing miserably.”

“The yard boasts mature landscaping.”

“You’ll need a machete to hack out a path to the front door.”

“This is a bank-owned property.”

“You might be able to move in by the time your kids graduate from college.”

“No, the home does not come with a washer and dryer included.”

“You’re spending $750,000 on a house, and you want someone else’s used appliances? Really?”

“The home does not have the fourth bedroom you’re looking for.”

“With your budget, you’re lucky it has a roof.”

“Due to a previous commitment, my partner will be showing you this home today.”

“I can’t stand working with you anymore, you picky bastard. Good luck with your new agent.”

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17 thoughts on “What your real-estate agent is really telling you

  1. Gail Kaufman

    I used to be a Realtor, so I can validate these translations. Buyer statements are interesting too. “I’ve had some credit issues.” Translation: “You may be wasting your time because it’s unlikely I’ll get approved for a mortgage.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Colane Conundrum Post author

      “Credit issues” does sound like a euphemism for seven bankruptcies, a foreclosure and two vehicle repossessions. I imagine it’s one those details you try to gloss over when you’re trying to get an agent to show you houses.

      “My credit? Oh, I may have had one or two issues in the past. No big deal. Banks don’t really care about that sort of nonsense anymore. [Cough-cough.] Say, I want to look at this two-story home. You think we can book a showing? This afternoon would be awesome.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sportsattitudes

    We put our real estate agent through hell and back buying our home. Picky on price, picky on location, picky on condition. Looked at what seemed like a hundred houses before we signed a deal. He was very patient with us but most definitely along the way we heard much of the “secret code” exposed above. Other agents we met in our journey spoke this jargon almost every time they said anything at all. Becomes second nature I suppose. People often have eyes bigger than their resources and expectations larger than reality.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Colane Conundrum Post author

      If the TV show House Hunters is to be believed (and clearly, that’s where I’ve obtained all my real-estate knowledge), people always want a home that’s just beyond the scope of what they can afford. So even if a person has a million-dollar budget, he’ll want a two-million-dollar house. I think it’s a rule.

      They say buying a house is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life, which might explain why we tend to get overly picky. It’s important to find an agent who’s patient and understanding— and whose head won’t spin around when you ask to see “just one more house.”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Colane Conundrum Post author

      I love real-estate flyers for that very reason. The ad copy is always dripping with poetic, whimsical descriptions and vivid, evocative imagery — yet the pictures show a deteriorating dump with busted windows and cracks in the walls.

      I think real-estate copywriters must be frustrated poets at heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. mistermuse

    Great post — love the jargon examples. Among many favorites, I’ll choose two: “Be sure to wipe off your shoes before stepping outside” and the one that ends “Quit turning up your nose at everything” (I never cease to be amazed at how picky/spoiled most of the “House Hunters” are).

    My daughter (who lives out of town and is currently looking to buy a house) needs to see these, so I’ll ‘pass it on.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Colane Conundrum Post author

      I’m always amazed by the couples on House Hunters. Nothing ever seems to be good enough. A 4,000-square-foot McMansion is “too small for entertaining.” The granite counters are not acceptable because they’re “not quartz.” I like to watch just so I can yell at the TV.

      Good luck to your daughter in her home search!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mistermuse

        Another common example of the “not good enough/not acceptable” for many HH couples is THE APPLIANCES AREN’T STAINLESS STEEL! Give me a break!

        Thanks for the “good luck” wishes to my daughter. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Colane Conundrum Post author

        It always amazes me how many House Hunters couples dismiss an entire house because it has a white refrigerator and stove. A bad layout is forgivable, but non-stainless-steel appliances? Intolerable!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Colane Conundrum Post author

      Thank you. 😀 I’d like to think I’m a real-estate expert based on the amount of House Hunters I watch, but the licensing board said I’d still need to go to school and pass an exam.

      So I guess I can’t pass out my business cards just yet. 😐

      Liked by 1 person

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