I imagine this post will be taken down by the secret association of Realtors Protecting Realtorspeak (the benevolent order of RPR) pretty quick, so make sure to read this one right away.
If my undergrad studies in sociology taught me anything, it’s that specialized vocabulary (or argot) is one way for a societal group to distinguish members from non-members. If you’ve ever gone with a significant other to a get together of people in their industry, you’ve experienced this first hand.
Realtors have their own way of speaking and you can often tell new agents from experienced agents from the way they describe various aspects of a property. Without further ado, here are my favourite examples of Realtorspeak.
Convenient to what is the question. I’ve been to properties that I can confidently say were convenient to absolutely nothing I want to see. This often paired with “upper” or “lower” to a desireable area, such as the semi-detached house located in the upper Beach, just south of the 401.
Say what you will about us, Realtors are a forward looking bunch. That den “can be” a bedroom, albeit one without a door, window or closet. That backyard “can be” landscaped into a private oasis by simply adding a deck, water feature, fences, trees and interlocking patio stones.
Whether it is lovingly maintained, lovingly decorated or lovingly renovated, I like the mental picture I get with this word. I picture the owner polishing the floor with a smile, resting a hand on top of the kitchen counter with pride at its cleanliness and so forth. No angry renovations in this place, nosiree.
Yes, this area is getting better. Why last week there were only two cars broken into on the street as opposed to 4! This word is code for “yes, it’s a crappy area, but it’s gotta get better, right? Right?”
With the eagle eyesight Realtors possess, I think we should make success at the Where’s Waldo kids book a part of the licensing process. I’ve stood on a balcony looking for the “Views of the lake” the listing promises, only to finally spot a bit of blue between the two condo buildings blocking the lake.
Some Realtors (I was going to call them new Realtors but then stopped myself) have a very liberal interpretation of this word. New floors, done three tenants and 4 years ago. Newly renovated bathroom, complete with gold faucets from the 80s. We often substitute recent for new but it has the same issue.
Just like every ranking system has different criteria, it is fair to say that some Realtors have a very high numbered way of ranking criteria. Is 5-star the best? Is the scale up to 10 stars? Do these Realtors consider restaurants with table cloths 5-star?
My favourite saved for last! The much abused “Den” in the one plus one bedroom condo. A den can mean a separate room with a door and closets or it can mean a nook in the front hall that a bench might fit in. There is such a liberal interpretation for this word that it makes finding a unit with a proper den quite challenging.
Realtors are tasked with selling properties and as such we try to put the most positive spin on them that we can. This means that the descriptions tend to be optimistic and forward looking. It’s actually quite a nice way of looking at the world. Can you imagine if every place for sale was actually as good as it sounded on the listing?
If you or someone you like want a Realtor who can decode the Realtorspeak and find you a property that is actually great now, please get in touch. I’d love to be responsible for what comes next.
SLEEPING IN PUBLIC
It is a mark of success in a park, public lobby or a porch, when people can come there and fall asleep.
This design lesson sounds a little funny at first, but it’s true that when you visit iconic public spaces, such as Central Park in NYC or the English Gardens in Munich, you often see people napping on the grass in the sun. If you’ve ever enjoyed a snooze in the porch area at a cottage, you know the feeling of being so comfortable in a non-private space that you drifted off.