Aggrandize - v. to make greater or to make to appear greater
When the Japanese mend broken pottery, they aggrandize the crack by filling it with gold. The damage suffered has given the piece history so they give that flaw added beauty when they repair it, yet do not hide where the flaw occurred.
Though aggrandizement, in those instances, makes something greater in a wonderful way, as Realtors® we need to be careful that we don’t aggrandize improperly. We have a term for that!
There once was a Realtor® I knew whose listings tended to include words like “perfect”, “immaculate”, and “spotless.” Those words always left me a bit nervous for a few reasons. First, I’d seen the “perfect” listings and that person’s sense of a perfect oasis was usually my definition of a fix-up project. More neutral terms that still tell the story of the greatness and potential of a property are better choices.
There was a lawsuit that I learned about some years ago where the public remarks for a property used the word, “immaculate”. The buyer, upon taking possession of the property, lifted the wall-to-wall carpets and found spots on the hardwood floors. To that Buyer, the word “immaculate” meant without spot, so they sued the Seller and the Listing Agent… and the Buyer won. That just strengthened my sense of not using certain words.
I think we’ve all seen the properties that tout bedrooms that really aren’t bedrooms, though they have some potential to be converted to that use, or an oversize lot that, should it meet municipal or neighborhood requirements MIGHT be sub-dividable, yet they've advertized it in a way that felt like it was absolutely subdividable. In our local college town of Newark, DE, I’ve occasionally seen listings that state they’d make a great rental property, yet they have no current rental permit in place. Sans the permit in Newark, you’d have to confirm with the town that a rental permit is possible before you start flying that flag.
You can aggrandize it once you own it, but Realtors®, be careful not to aggrandize your listings with words that don’t match the actual sticks and bricks. It’s great to look up the definition of new words (I LOVE words), but having to look up the definition of puffing because you’ve been accused of it wouldn’t be a good thing.