As a homebuyer, have you ever experienced reading descriptions of properties, only to find out upon walking in that it’s nothing like advertised? It’s the old bait and switch that a lot of realtors do in their real estate ads. In today’s video, let’s talk all about the words that we, as realtors, use to get people to come and look at the property, get all excited before they walk in, and what those words really mean.
1. Location, location, location.
Let’s kick this post off with the number one rule of real estate: location, location, location. Any time you see those three words at the very beginning of the description, it probably means that that’s the number one selling point of the house. Well if all you care about is the coordinates in the city that you live in, that can be the house for you. However, it can also be the ONLY selling point of the house and everything else after it isn’t going to be up to snuff.
If you see the word opportunity in real estate ads, or something around improving, or a boundless opportunity, it could mean that the seller expects you to pay them for all the potential ideas that they had, projects that they thought about doing, but never actually did. Be warned.
Similar to the location idea, if something is conveniently located near something, it probably means you’re catching street noise, BART noise, or some other kind of noise from whatever you’re conveniently located to.
4. Low maintenance
Now, speaking of landscaping, low maintenance is something that comes up all the time in the description of the house. However, it often means that it’s just a concrete slab in the backyard with a couple of planter boxes or a big dirt patch. You’ve been warned.
5. Napa-like or Tahoesque
On the opposite side of low maintenance, when someone describes their landscaping as Napa-like or Tahoesque, that actually means maintenance nightmare. Think that you’re absolutely going to need to hire a gardener. What’s bad? It’s not just the mow and blow kind. You’re looking for someone who actually knows what plants to cut, when to cut, and what plants to move to what part of the yard later. So if you’re not the green thumb type of person but you want that Napa-like opportunity, I don’t really know how it’s going to work out for you for that one.
6. Deep Lot
Speaking of the yard, when you see something advertised as a deep lot, make sure you know where it is located first. Because generally speaking, if a house has a deep lot, it just means that you have a lot of dirt to maintain and pay taxes on. It could just get expensive for a variety of reasons. This is especially true if you’re up in Oakland or the Berkeley Hills where you have to maintain a fire barrier if you’re on the uphill or the downhill sides.
7. Soaring Ceilings
This is a good one that comes up all the time. Unfortunately, soaring ceilings aren’t really that tall all the time. Generally speaking, “soaring ceilings” can mean anything over eight feet. For context, if you’re playing pool and you put your cue up, you’re actually going to hit that ceiling. So don’t get too excited and keep that in mind.
8. Desirable or Sought-after
When you see the word desirable or sought-after, they’re probably just referring to something they’re trying to build up a little bit of energy in. It could be something that someone else or a specific group of people want, but it’s not really that sought-after by everyone. And after all, if something is really desirable, they don’t really need to say that it’s desirable, right?
That can sound like a really good thing, right? Well, probably. However, it can also mean that the house is going to stay hot until 9:00 p.m. because most houses around here in East Bay don’t have an A.C. So if you see the word sun-drenched, make sure that you consider the orientation of the house first before you make an offer. Or at least, walk in to the house in the heat of the afternoon to check because it’s probably going to be pretty hot.
Any time someone uses the word newer to describe an upgrade or something that they did, it means it was done in the last 10 years. Generally speaking, it’s not new if it’s over a year old. So any time you see someone say they did a newer roof, go dig in on the disclosure first—you’ve been warned on that one.
11. Cozy or cottage-like
One word: small.
I hope my video about what real estate ads really mean has helped you.
If I can give you more context on the process of buying or selling your home, please do not hesitate to reach out. My information is below.
Here’s to all your success!