Real Estate Marketing Euphemisms Translated

Real Estate Marketing Euphamisms Translated
Cartoon courtesy of Alistair Nisbit

While it may not be a widely known fact, Realtors have been known to use “creative language” to describe properties and their characteristics. Not shocked to hear this you say? Let’s delve into some examples of this phenomenon.

RealtorSpeak: Cozy!
Translation: Tiny. You may be able to touch two opposite walls with your body outstretched. You can always meet your friends at a cafe – who needs to entertain at home anyway?

RealtorSpeak: Needs TLC
Translation: Needs everything including paint, flooring and all appliances. Maybe even a new roof and perhaps a new foundation due to the large cracks in the existing one.

RealtorSpeak: Not a drive-by.
Translation: This thing looks atrocious from outside and we really need to get you inside to have any hope of you buying it. A late night showing would be preferable so you can’t see how awful the exterior is.

RealtorSpeak: Character house.
Translation: Most likely quirky and often run-down. It will help if you are keen on a very old structure and don’t mind drafts around windows and sloping floors.

RealtorSpeak: Fixer-upper!
Translation:  A tear-down and not worth doing any fixing. Please bring thick-soled, steel-toed boots for the showing. Overalls and possibly a gas mask will be beneficial.

There are hundreds more real estate marketing euphemisms not mentioned here. Please let us know if you have some good examples of your own in the comments below.

Underground Storage Oil Tanks (UST)

Did you know owners of properties in Metro Vancouver may have a potentially costly underground storage oil tank (UST) in their backyard? Clean-up and liability issues can come into play if the oil tank leaks and contaminates your property. If the contaminant originates on your property and then seeps onto adjacent properties, you could be liable for the mess and any clean-up on those properties. Ouch! 

Underground oil tanks were commonly installed on properties beginning in the late 1950s. Oil was the primary source of heating fuel for homes until natural gas replaced it due to lower cost and ease of connecting to utility gas pipelines. The oil tanks were usually just capped and decommissioned in place at this point – some with oil remaining in the tanks!

There are many companies in Metro Vancouver that use scanning equipment to check for buried oil tanks for a nominal fee. If there is any possibility that there may be a UST, doing the scan makes sense for buyers and is almost always advisable for sellers. Caveat emptor (buyer beware) is the best policy when it comes to oil tanks and avoiding the associated risks with buying a property where one may be lurking. The cost to remove a decommissioned tank that has not leaked is much less than a major environmental clean-up of a decommissioned leaky tank. Insist on full and proper tank removal documentation in the purchase contract if you are a buyer.

To complicate matters further, different municipalities around Metro Vancouver have different requirements to follow during removal. For further reading I recommend a great article by The Spagnuolo Group of Real Estate Law Firms.

I welcome any questions you may have about selling or buying.
Feel free to comment here or contact me directly.