While baffling council-speak like ‘cascading,’ ‘rebaselining’ and ‘predictors of beaconicity’ has been banned, perhaps it is time for estate agents to examine their own puzzling language.
Due to strange property jargon, many purchasers find themselves visiting an unsuitable property, wondering why the image in their head is so far removed from reality, points out house finder Jo Aldridge from Stacks Property Search & Acquisition.
She suggests a purchaser should ‘spend longer looking for clues in the property description, identifying potential problems and questioning the agent more closely before wasting time on a viewing.’
Alan Howick, an agent at Fine & Country, Harlow, has been campaigning for some time against agent speak. He agrees that agents use superfluous adjectives and treacly prose that makes him cringe. ‘At the end of the day, you are talking about a house. The problem is sales brochures are for the ego of the owner, rather than the buyer who usually goes on the internet to look for property,’ says Mr Howick.
To support the battle against agent speak, Country Life provides the following light-hearted guide to commonly-used jargon for those striking out in the spring market, with thanks to contributors who interpreted the meaningless phrases.
Lots of potential: unsound
Wealth of beams: if you are over 5’6″, you will develop a permanent stoop
Bijou: very tiny
Interesting conversion: it doesn’t work
Easily maintained garden: concreted over postage stamp
Deceptively spacious: furniture removed to make it look bigger
Partial sea view: if you hang out of the bathroom while someone holds your legs
Conveniently situated: road, rail or airplane noise
Could benefit from cosmetic improvements: Formica-topped kitchen units and green carpet
Ideally located for restaurants and shops: you won’t sleep a wink on Friday and Saturday nights
Some en-suite facilities: sink in bedroom corner
An ideal pied-a-terre: pokey one-bed flat
Mature garden: completely overgrown
Good use of space: no room for washing machine so it is in the sitting room
Must be viewed: isn’t that the case with every instruction?
Ripe for renovation: needs complete rebuilding
Highly motivated vendor: Seller desperate to shift property
Patio: concrete slab
Time capsule: untouched for a century
Requiring attention: untouched for a decade