Disclosure – Loaded words and phrases

I am always interested in the language that realtors use in advertising their listings – Descriptions and promises that borderline on flat out lies. Or on a more gracious note, it’s just fun to read between the lines:

  • “Cozy Cottage” = Small House
  • “Old World Charm” = Be prepared to install dishwasher, garbage disposal, HVAC, new sewer line, etc.
  • “Needs TLC” = Fixer
  • “Investor’s Dream” = Make low ball offer
  • “Located in up and coming area” = Unsafe
  • “Quaint” = Desperately in need of updating
  • “Motivated Seller” = Desperate, make low ball offer
  • “Cinderella waiting to be asked to dance” (yes, I really saw this one!) = Major issues

Here’s a list of words to avoid for legal reasons – words that have disputed meanings or may be considered discriminatory:

  • Quiet
  • Safe
  • Flat lot
  • “His and Hers”
  • Quality Construction
  • Room to expand
  • Good investment
  • Built to code
  • Ready for pool
  • Near church, temple, etc.

It sort of reminds me of the warning labels on hairdryers, “Do not use while taking a bath.” It only takes one person to litigate over lack of common sense, and we are all flooded with an insane amount of disclosure paperwork and acute term-qualification.

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