Real estate words


I want to talk about words.

I’ve written before that if there is anywhere in real estate advertising that a hardwood floor is not gleaming, a view not stunning or a place not immaculately clean, I will be surprised beyond belief and all reason. We are not that creative as real estate copywriters, that is undeniably undebatable and unfortunate. It is an opportunity lost, a connection missed, an expressive idea unexpressed.

And you may know, I love words, words like abnegate and abrogate, absolution and abstemious. Ah yez, those dancing vowels, dance, dance, and dance some more now, wordy words. Real estate has a special language, some of it legal like abatement and waiver, some of it constructional like, joist and frieze board, and some of it jargonistic like sliders. Who says sliders? I went through the whole alphabet blogging real estate words and their meanings a few years ago, ending with zoning.


wordsGood words

Some words are not used enough. Words like:

Luxurious (sounds creamy)

Captivating (sounds interesting)

Impeccable  (sounds rich)

Landscaped (sounds cultured)

Pergola (sounds like Tuscany)

Gentle (sounds comfortable)

Spotless (clean like a home, not a hospital or a church)

Upgraded (modern and safe)

Updated (new, but still charming)

According to this article, these words add dollars to a home’s selling price.


wordsBad words

There are lots and lots of real estate words (and jargon) that home buyers and sellers either misunderstand or fear. These include:


Home sellers know that the MPAC appraised value is as much as 30% lower than market value.

Home buyers’ lenders sometimes send through bank appraisers before they agree to give a mortgage.

Closing or completion

This is the end of the agreement. It is the beginning of homeownership for the buyer and the end of (that) homeownership for the seller. The closing is really an opening. One door closes and another opens.

Closing costs

Oh, no. Now I have to pay. How much?


The home evaluation is often referred to as a CMA or Comparative market analysis. Potential home sellers often fear that their house is worth more than realtors tell them it is.


This is the small print. The conditions are actually on the Schedule A and are written to protect the home buyer.


“What if I don’t get it back?” worries the home buyer.

Fiduciary responsibilities

Buyers and sellers do not realize that agents owe them certain duties which include confidentiality, disclosure, diligence, loyalty and reasonable care. We must put our clients interests ahead of our own.


Mort is a french word for death. And gauge is a measuring tool.


No one likes to have their finances, credit score and work history analyzed.

Insurance. Mortgage insurance

I’m an adult. I need this now.

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