Real Estate Agent Speak … What Does It Mean?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Realty Affiliates

Real Estate Agent Speak … What Does It Mean?

Real Estate Advertisement Real estate Agent SpeakAgents say many things in their advertising, but often we’re left wondering what does it mean? 

There is always an implied meaning, but the serious Buyer usually wants to know what they are really saying about a property.  Sometimes even agents don’t know and need to make a translation phone call to find out. 

For example, “Gourmet Kitchen”.  A kitchen is often termed Gourmet if it has a 5 burner, or larger, cook top, over sized vent hood, and a double oven, but does that make it gourmet?  We’ve had true gourmet cooks comment on the abuse of the term.  One of their key determinants is the quality of the fixtures, i.e.- high heat cook top and broiler capabilities.  A pot filler spigot by the cook top is fun, but does it a Gourmet Kitchen make? 

The "Great Room"  is another term used liberally.  Is it an Open Floor plan – divided by pony wall but open, or is it one big room with the kitchen and dining areas in it?  Mother in law unit is another advertising dandy.  Is it a separate building or an add-on? Does it have its own kitchen, living room, private patio or garden? 

“RV Parking” can be anything from room on the side of the house to park a tent trailer to a parking area for any sized RV complete with water, dump drain and electricity.  “Horse set up” can be a lean-to with panels or a barn with power, tack room and automaticNorthern Nevada Real Estate for sale waterer. “Garden area" can be rose or vegetable, functional or token. 

“Fully Landscaped” – is it natural sage or lawn, shrubs, and trees?  “Needs a Little TLC” – anything goes with this one.  A little Tender Loving Care usually means thorough cleaning, yard care and paint, but could turn out to be carpet replacement, and more.  It’s a little better than a “Fixer Upper”, but not “Move in Ready”“Fixer Upper” That can be all the above plus broken windows, punched sheet rock and doors, missing fixtures and roof shingles, etc.

“Carpet Allowance” signals worn out or cat-affected flooring, but not always.  A carpet color recognized to be unappealing can induce an allowance to help a sale. “Dog Run” can be anything from a cross fence by the garage that creates a closed area, to a true dog run with proper fencing, concrete for easy cleaning, dog house, etc.

First time Home Buyer Nevada Homes for sale“Great for First Time Home Buyer” usually means it is nominally priced or modest, but can also simply be smaller. 

“Great Family Home” is another just about anything goes comment.  Does it mean that there are many bedrooms, or enough bathrooms to get everyone out the door in the morning?  Does a family or bonus room offering separation of kids from adults make it family?  What is great for a family will truly be family specific.

Our Advice:  Descriptive terms and what they represent mean a lot to a Buyer and can be an important factor in a sale.  It is important to represent the property and its attributes accurately.  Have your agent make sure that what has attracted you to the property works for your wants and needs, and isn’t something that has the description of what you want but is only 25% of your expectations.  Description abuses can be laughable at times, but they can also waste time.  Be sure to determine what that “cream puff” is really all about.

Ad language is designed to attract, to make the phone ring.  It’s up to the Buyer and her Agent to determine if the property description is puffed. 

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs … Experience is Priceless!  Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs ... Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel and Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472,

Here are a few of our blog posts ... please enjoy!

Back to school in Lyon county Nevada

Back to School in Carson City, Nevada

Back to School in Douglas County Nevada

Lisa Wetzel and Jim Valentine are the authors of this blog.  Lisa, Jim and Jessie are experts in Carson Valley , Carson City and the tri-county area of Douglas County, Carson City and Lyon County. Call our team anytime at 775-781-5472 or 775-781-3704.  To Search for Homes go to: Carson Valley Listing Book or visit our website at


Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Brian England 08/31/2011 03:58 AM
  2. Camilo A. Hernandez 08/31/2011 05:26 AM
  3. Jim Valentine 08/31/2011 04:16 PM
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Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin


Great post. Very good information. Hope you have a super week.

Aug 31, 2011 03:18 AM #1
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

A lot of these terms are always going to reflect a certain amount of subjectivity.  Hopefully each statement is rooted in a bit of truth so when a buyer actually shows up they can at least see where the owner's and listing agent were coming from by using some of these terms to define the home.

Aug 31, 2011 04:02 AM #2
Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Carson City, NV

Alan and Michele ... thanks, I appreciate you comment and I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

Morgan ... You are right ... I think also that it's area specific.  Terms we recognize in Nevada may have a completely different connotation in New York!  Thanks!

Aug 31, 2011 04:12 AM #3
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - - Austin, TX
Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator

You've described a tall order for a "gourmet kitchen". In my area, it usually means the appliances are stainless or black and there's granite or corian counter, and most have an island. There are many great kitchens with 4 burner stoves, and you very seldom see a potfiller, as I've seen it three times in 11 years.

Aug 31, 2011 04:16 AM #4
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

I always have a hard time with an apartment being described as "Renovated"  I have customers that want renovated and to them that means brand new or renovated max 5 years ago.  A renovation 5 years ago depending on the quality and taste might resemble a very nice apartment or if it was done with inferior products it will not meet what most people would describe as renovated. 

Aug 31, 2011 05:13 AM #5
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA Lepic-Kroeger REALTORS - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist
It is true that there is a lot of ambiguity to some of the terms you describe. My advice to buyers is to let the pictures be your guide. Don't base your decision on viewing a property be for the remarks of the agent.
Aug 31, 2011 05:23 AM #6
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Represent accurately - even if the owner's opinion is distorted!

Aug 31, 2011 05:31 AM #7
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Some of those terms get buyers in the door but if they're too off base, buyers will be disappointed. 

Aug 31, 2011 05:43 AM #8
Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Carson City, NV

Donna ... Gourmet is one of those multifaceted words!  Agreed!

Eileen ... Perfect example of what I was saying.  Beauty in the eye!

Karen ... Thanks ... great advice!  Picture usually don't lie!  Unless there is "creative photography"!

Gary ... Agreed!

Margaret ... this is very very true.  Sometimes the effect is opposite ... the disappointment makes the turn away from an object that might have been overlooked if their expectations were lower!


Aug 31, 2011 06:10 AM #9
Angela Clark
Tony Clark REALTORS - Owensboro, KY
CRS, Realtor, Broker

Lisa, great post!

The first person to make a mountain out of a mole-hill was an agent in their over-fluffed ad!

We have to set realisitic expectations for those buyers.

Keep up the great work!

Aug 31, 2011 07:36 AM #10
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

Great content! Another one is 'well appointed' - well, exactly what is 'well appointed' and 'well appointed' as compared to what? High expectations lead to disappointment, so much better to temper the fluff and give good, valuable information.

Aug 31, 2011 08:12 AM #11
Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Carson City, NV

Angela ... They are the "Puffing Monsters"!

Charlie ... You are right ... "Well Appointed" is right up there too!  Thanks for your comments!

Aug 31, 2011 03:28 PM #12
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

I thought think the real estate industry has ever fooled the public with their terminology. In fact, it has been the butt of jokes. Just represent the house in layman terms and it will be appreciated.

Aug 31, 2011 03:43 PM #13
Jim Valentine
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Gardnerville, NV

Lisa .., I agree, there is so much huffing and puffing in the real estate ads that we see.  Truth be told ... we've done our share too.

This is a great post about a market wide condition.  It's at least good that we can laugh at ourselves!

Thanks for the wonderful blog!  Everyone Enjoy!

Aug 31, 2011 04:15 PM #14
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Sorry, I rarely read the text. Photographs that's what's important. All I need to know about the kitchen will be in the photographs. That's why professional photography can be so important.

Aug 31, 2011 06:22 PM #15
Lisa Wetzel
RE/MAX Realty Affiliates - Carson City, NV

Sandy ... That is so true and great advice!

Jim ... Thanks!

Tammie ... Photographs are the key but, I find, sometimes they don't tell all the story.  Nothing beats actually looking at the house in person!

Sep 01, 2011 01:51 AM #16
Linda Metallo DiBenardo
Re/max Impact, Lockport, Illinois - Lockport, IL

Lisa, my favorite is "newer" as is newer roof, mechanicals or whatever.  Sometimes "newer" means 7-10 years old !

Sep 01, 2011 04:02 AM #17
Debbie Walsh
Shahar Management - Middletown, NY
Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036

Lisa congrats on the feature.  I too think of many different things when I hear gourmet kitchen and usually stainless appliances or a larger cooking area is not on the list.   It really bugs me when agents puff things up and then the buyers are disappointed when we get there. 

Sep 02, 2011 02:33 PM #18
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