Realty Speak vs. Reality: A Friendly Translation For First-Time Buyers and the Simply Naive

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Just for Fun in Winter

courtesy of famveldman © 123RF.com

Here is my second “Friday Fun” entry. These days we could all use some comic relief. So I’m going to try to post some humor once a week.  Since I came up with these personally – and I’m not a comic – I can only hope that its good enough to provide a few laughs.

Why do people hate real estate agents?

Could there be a reason why we are viewed as only slightly less revolting than a used car salesman?  How did we arrive at such an edifying status?  Perhaps we came by our bad reputations the old fashioned way – by EARNING THEM.

With that….ahem… hypothesis in mind – I was reading some listings from an area just outside my usual territory – trying to get an idea of pricing and condition before heading out on the road. Generally, I know about the condition of a property that I’m showing so some of the public facing comments fly over me. But this time I knew less – so I read more.  It was an eye-opening experience. Listing agents are obliged by law to represent the seller.  As such, they are required to present the property in its best light.  Of course no on can get past the fact that even if you can put lipstick on a pig – its still a pig.   While scanning the photos and comments I decided to compile a list of agent-speak descriptions and provide some likely “translations” for the benefit of those surfing listings online. Happy Hunting!

“Just steps from the train – You can parachute onto the train from your bedroom window.
“Easy access to major roads” – The house is sitting into the middle of a cloverleaf.

“Easy access to public transportation” – The bus stop is at your front door and the public hangs out on your front lawn waiting.
“Just steps from entertainment” – Don’t count on sleeping before the bars close on Friday and Saturday night.
“Centrally located” – In the middle of everything including a major Interstate.
“Cozy space” – This space is so small that it reminds you of being in an MRI machine.
“Lovingly maintained” – This house is frozen in time and makes the Brady Bunch house look modern.
“Put your own stamp on this wonderful space” – by the time you are done with all the necessary renovations, you will have completely redesigned the entire home.

“On the market for the first time in forty years”
– Nothing has been done to this house in forty years.
“See the potential” – A potentially budget- busting gut renovation awaits.

“Great starter home with expansion potential”
– This house is so small that if you don’t bash out a wall or add another story, years of therapy await.
“In need of TLC” – Bring a sledge hammer – you MIGHT be able to salvage the foundation.

“Begin with a blank slate”
– House? What house? You are buying a tear down and a lot.

So there you have it! The good, the bad and the ugly. Try to remember that the listing agent (the one responsible for the public comments) has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the SELLER who hired them. Recognizing that fact might put some of this attempt a “deception” in proper perspective. If you, as a buyer, want similar representation, it is in your best interest to hire a buyer’s agent to represent you in this transaction.

Please feel free to contact me anytime to request additional information or to set up an appointment so we can explore your listing or purchasing needs. I am easy to reach by phone, text or email. Or, if you just want to continue your search online, the links below will help you get started.

Phone/Text: 914-374-5529

Email: Ruthmarie@TheWestchesterView.net

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