TLC to cosy: 10 sneaky words real estate agents use to sell duds

Don’t get fooled by these common property buzzwords.

Property for sale sign. Real estate auction.
A property expert reveals the true meaning behind real estate buzzwords. (Source: Getty/AAP)

Real estate agents are known to use sneaky wording to catch your attention and lure you into properties. So if a property is described as “cosy”, “charming” or “conveniently located”, what does that actually mean?

Get RARE Properties founder and buyers agent Rasti Vaibhav said agents would do whatever they could to attract potential buyers, including using retouched professional photos, emotive ad campaigns, styling, and even under-quoting to try to ramp up interest.

When it comes to creative wording, Vaibhav said would-be buyers needed to “read between the lines” and take everything with a grain of salt.

“One thing that frustrates buyers the most is the deceptive wording used in real estate listings. They may use vague or exaggerated language, such as “cosy” for small or “up-and-coming” for an undesirable neighbourhood, to make a property seem more appealing,” Vaibhav, author of The Property Wealth Blueprint, said.

“Usually, a quick drive-by of the property or even a [Google] Street View search can help paint a clearer picture.”

Properties that are described as a “renovator’s delight” or “needs TLC” are usually code for the property needing lots of work (and money) to bring it up to its true potential. And if a property has shortcomings, agents may overemphasise other features to compensate.

“If they know a property is situated on a major highway, they might look at the benefits of the location rather than the noisy downside,” Vaibhav said.

Real meaning of property buzzwords

  1. Cosy (smaller than your last hotel room)

  2. Charming (too old)

  3. Original condition (expect a 30+-year-old kitchen)

  4. Needs TLC (it’s going to cost money)

  5. Conveniently located (next to the highway)

  6. Desirable neighbourhood (the home is way overpriced)

  7. Efficient kitchen (suits a bachelor only)

  8. Development potential (You can develop, but the numbers don’t stack up)

  9. Ocean glimpses (you’re paying a lot, and you can’t actually see the ocean)

  10. Hobby farm (tough to resell or finance)

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