How to decode a property advertisement

July 28, 2016
Nicholas Dennett

Real estate agents are many things to many people, but their
first and foremost role is in sales. This means they’re committed to
focusing on a property’s finest features, sometimes using optimistic
descriptions that don’t always match up to reality.

With this in mind, it’s easy to see how some property advertisements
seem to border on hilarious.

A coastal Queensland property, recently listed for almost $900,000,
offered ‘a rare opportunity’ with ‘endless possibilities’. ‘The
property holds very strong bones and really is the perfect blank
canvas’, according to the advertisement.

Translation: Perhaps it’s liveable, perhaps not. Maybe the owners made
it part of the way through renovations before running out of money.
Whatever the case, this property probably needs some love, that is
work, before anyone would want to live in it.

“Property buyers are bombarded with all sorts of marketing lingo, and
often agents use artfully crafted phrases to catch your attention”,
explains buyer’s agent, Michael Yardney from Metropole Property
Strategists, who spends his days decoding ads for his clients and
matching them with suitable properties.

He offers a tongue-in-cheek guide to the colourful words that real
estate agents regularly use. “If you see these terms in any real
estate marketing piece,” he says, “you’ll know what they really mean.”

·         ‘Cute’, ‘cozy’ or ‘adorable’ = small, tiny and cramped.

·         ‘Handyman special’ = better have lots of time, money and an
awesome set of tools.

·         ‘The backyard is your canvas’ = there’s nothing but dirt back there.

·         ‘Easy access to freeways’ = hope you enjoy the sound of
18-wheelers at 2am.

·         ‘This home is spotless’ = no one has lived in it for six months.

·         ‘Retro’ = shag carpet, linoleum and lime green appliances included.

·         ‘Motivated sellers’ = overpriced and/or mortgagee's
foreclosure is looming.

·         ‘Unique’ or ‘one of a kind’ = owner is a creative painter.
Think magenta, chartreuse, polka dots.


If you are thinking about buying, speak with our MFAA Approved Brokers before you hit the streets to find your perfect property.

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