Decoding Home Listings

For Sale Sign, Green Grass, Trees, beautiful home

We’ve all been there. You read home listings, view the available photos and think you’ve found the perfect home. You schedule a showing, step through the front door and…… it’s nothing like you thought it would be.

Real estate marketing language and abbreviations can be extremely confusing to any of us that are not realtors. However, this language is used to create the most attractive listing in order to sell a home. So, we’ve decided to break down some of the commonly used (and commonly misinterpreted) terminology in the real estate world.

Cozy or charming.  Decoded: Small, cottage-like.

Contact for photos. Decoded: There is likely a reason that photos are not readily available. It may not be attractive enough to post photos.

Diamond in the rough. Decoded: The house is most likely the nicest one in the neighborhood.

Fixer-upper/ handyman special Decoded: This language is used when a house needs major repairs or renovations. Only consider buying a home like this if you are prepared to remodel and definitely plan for an inspection on these types of homes so you know exactly what you are getting into.

Highly Motivated Decoded: Sellers are ready to move as soon as possible, or they have already moved and need to sell ASAP. They likely will consider offers below asking price.

Potential Decoded: It COULD be nice with some TLC but it probably isn’t right now.

Powder Room Decoded: A two-piece bathroom consisting of a toilet and a sink. It’s usually on the first level of a multi-story home.

Recently Updated Decoded: Expect these homes to have new paint, new fixtures and maybe new flooring and that’s about it. “Updated” and “Remodeled” are not the same thing.

Starter Home Decoded: These are usually smaller homes with 3 bedrooms or less and less than 1500 square feet.

Stunning Decoded: Clean, staged and has the “wow” factor. Realtors should only use this term if the home will live up to expectations.

Traditional Decoded: Old

Unique/ One of a Kind Decoded: These homes generally have some interesting quirks that make them different.

Vintage Charm Decoded: Anything described as vintage is also old. Vintage homes can have a lot of charm with their woodwork, details and unique features; however, older homes also come with their own list of potential issues. Be sure to carefully check the plumbing, electric wiring and other functional features that may not be up to date on meeting current coding requirements.

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