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Translations of US Home Ads

In a housing market many feel is near the bottom, there are some good deals available. Before you go looking, you may want to take a look at this tongue-in-cheek translation of what the agents are REALLY saying in their online ads:

Homebuyer’s translator
From AOL News: Real Estate

You can read the entire article from which this is excerpted by clicking on the blue type above.

Boyd, a past president of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents, or NAEBA, was so amused by these codified euphemisms that he compiled a translation guide with the help of NAEBA members nationwide.

For example, he cites the commonly used term “cozy” and says the connotation to savvy Realtors is that there isn’t much space in the house.

“It triggers the Henny Youngman in us: ‘This house is so small that you have to go outside to change your mind,'” Boyd says.

Boyd says that although some of these phrases can be taken to extremes, a little hyperbole is not necessarily a bad thing for buyers.

“I would rather take the time to show a buyer an extra five houses that they don’t want because it’s too cozy or smells bad or whatever so that the buyer has a better reference on what they are getting and the compromises to make on the house they do choose,” he says.

The industry acronyms he’s more worried about these days are “BATVAI” and “IDRBNG,” which stand for “buyer’s agent to verify all information” and “information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.”

“We’re seeing more and more of those listings now,” says Boyd. “The idea is that the listing office doesn’t want to take responsibility for actually measuring the property or adequately describing it.

“Sometimes, they don’t even visit the property. They just put down the information from the assessor’s records and put it on the market and say it’s the buyer’s agent’s problem to verify it.”

They include:

* Grandma’s house: Realtors interpret this to mean a) the house hasn’t been updated since Grandma moved in or b) it still smells like Grandma.

* Great potential: The operative word here is “potential.” The “potential” in one case pointed to the fact that there was a large crack through the center of the foundation caused by an earthquake.

* Light and bright: Bring your sunglasses because everything in this baby will be white: walls, cabinets, tile. Where have you seen this before? Oh yeah, the hospital.

* Meticulously maintained: It could mean the owners never bothered to update the property. Maintenance is admirable for plumbing and HVAC, not so much for cabinets, carpets and windows.

* Mile to the beach as the seagull flies: And you’ll wish you had wings. Those straight-line calculations can mean some pesky traffic lies between you and the lifeguard shack.

* Needs TLC: You may freely substitute “OMG” for “TLC” here. Boyd says the phrase “TLC” often means the house has been abused and requires more than mere redecorating. “The average homebuyer who sees HGTV a couple times before they go looking is not sensitive to that,” he says.

* Newer furnace and AC: “Newer” has a certain “truthiness” to it. In one case, both units were 25 years old. When the listing agent was asked why she made such an audacious claim, she replied, “Because each one of them had received a new part within the last year.”

* Retro decor: It’s ’60s flashback time. Can you dig the original paisley vinyl floors and avocado appliances, man? Groovy!

* This house just had a total facelift: Loosely translated, it means the seller painted everything. But paint, like a facelift, can only hide so much.

* This house will go fast: Might have been believable in the first 30 days on the market, but not anymore. One home with this description had been on the market 247 days.

* Turnkey: Meaning they don’t want to have to haul away all that orange-and-brown-plaid-polyester-covered furniture.

* Very bright, sunny home: Often true because there’s not a tree in sight.

* Water view: Of course, you’ll need to stand on the upper deck railing and crane your neck. With binoculars. On an extremely clear day.

August 24, 2009 - Posted by | Cultural, Customer Service, Financial Issues, Marketing, Shopping, Work Related Issues

3 Comments »

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