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Business :: Real Estate :: Hawaii Home Help :: Secret Real Estate Code

Secret Real Estate Code

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Real estate advertising makes fascinating reading. It always seems to describe your dream home- until you stop by the Open House. Many real estate ads then show themselves for what they really are: exercises in creative writing with a little little'adventure-action flair. At times you may find yourself to double-checking address. This is a'"Waterfront Retreat??".

Real estate agents sometimes have a tough job to do. As commissioned salespersons, they have to make the best of a less-than-perfect product. Many home features are quite subjective, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Still, some really step over the line into fantasy.

Here is a twisted look at some of the real estate terms you might encounter - and another reason to call your real estaste professional if you want the truth about property you see advertised! If you have other interesting or outrageous examples to add to my list. or other questions or concerns, please email to

Perimeter Lot: On the edge of the cliff, but it didn't used to be. Bring rope and wear a harness!
Breathtaking: And that's just the price.' You'll need oxygen after you see the inside.
Friendly Neighborhood:
You'll love the Casserole of the Month'Event . Attendance is mandatory.
Pet-Friendly Neighborhood:
Bring your own guard dog. Everyone else has one.
Handyman Special:' Earth moving equipment required to get to front door.
Fixer-upper:' Quick, before it falls down.
Income Opportunity: The yard is piled high with old cans and bottles, and you get to keep any deposit money you earn!
Convenient:' Located on freeway entrance ramp.
Mint condition:' Someone has spilled mouthwash on the carpet.
Completely renovated:' All cats have been found and removed; toilets now flush
Natural decor: Beach mats stapled to walls cover murals of nudes and Elvis.
Move in easy:' Front door missing.
Walkout:' Back door missing.
Tudor Style:' Has back door and front door. Windows have wood frames.
Really plush:' Wall-to-wall shag carpeting that would make Austin Powers feel right at home.
Bachelor pad:' Gold-veined mirror tiles in the master bedroom; smells gamey.
Stunning View: The sight of the neighbors below will require some recovery time, so brace yourself.
WOW!:' Inspires shock and awe. Do not go in alone!
Curb appeal:' Only the front of the house is painted. Has a porch.
Doll's house:' Shack with 6 foot ceilings on lot the size of a postage stamp.
Water Feature:
You can hear the neighbor's flushing their toilet.
Lots of built-ins:' Previous owner nailed furniture to the walls.
Tenant wants to stay:' Evicting tenant is your problem.
Cute: Three tiny rooms, each with different flowered wallpaper. Hello Kitty would be right at home.
Move in Condition: You, not the house. Unless you are in top condition, you won't make it up the flight of stairs in front door.
Close to Bus Lines: No garage, and the bus line is right in front. Ear plugs are included in the price.
Make an Offer: If this sounds like a desperate seller, they are.
Development Potential: Fixing it up is your problem, owners gave up.
Motivated Seller: Seller will throw in the kids and grandma.
Expansion opportunity:' Upstairs bedroom can double as a bowling alley.
Euro kitchen:' Smells of garlic and cabernet.
Hawaiian living: Land has been claimed for traditional hunting and gathering rights. Thatch roof.
Close to beach:' Impossible to park on the street on weekends and holidays.
Picturesque setting:' View of abandoned cars and waist-high weeds on neighboring lots. See "Secluded Back Yard"
Wide-open floor plan:' Previous owner removed supporting walls.
Updated bath:' Tub no longer overflows. Hot and cold water.
Updated kitchen:' Sink no longer overflows.
Country kitchen: Neighbor's chickens wander in and out. Convenient gun rack.
Move right in:' Has been unoccupied for 5 years, except for vagrants, vandals and bats.
Security system:' Neighbor has loud dogs.
Updated security system:' Neighbor has loud dogs and open window.
Secluded back yard:' Landslide just outside the back door eliminated of all the neighboring houses.

On a serious note, real estate advertising is highly regulated but difficult to enforce, and truth in advertising has apparently not made a big impact. Many owners have an exaggerated view of their own properties and fail to see their shortcomings. And when it's your property being described, don't you want only the best features to be mentioned, and maybe even puffed up a bit?

If you need help with professional marketing of your property, be sure to see examples of the marketing you can expect from your Realtor. If you have individual questions, I would be happy to respond to

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