17: How to Speak Realtor

17: How to Speak Realtor

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home

How to Speak Realtor

Next to the writer of real estate advertisements, the autobiographer is the most suspect of prose artists.

~Donal Henahan

Last week we moved into a new house. Well, some of our stuff moved. The rest is somewhere else. I don’t know exactly where that somewhere else is, but the movers assure me that someday they’ll figure it out. Honestly, I’m trying to look on the bright side about this. If the boxes are lost, I don’t have to unpack them. Still, it would be nice to have plates to eat on.

Anyway, I learned a few things on the road to a new house. The first thing I learned is that you have to see a lot of yuck before you find the house of your dreams. I also learned that there are still people on this earth who think white carpet is a good idea. Clearly, they don’t have a twelve-year-old boy and his dad living with them, as I do.

But thanks to my real estate agents — who, by the way, were awesome, fantastic and wonderful — I actually learned a foreign language. Not Spanish or Mandarin Chinese. Nope, I learned to speak Realtor. I’m not fluent by any means. All the technical terms frankly just sailed in one ear and out the other. But I did learn a few useful phrases that I plan to use the next time I look for a house. Which, according to Harry, should be when I’m ninety-seven.

Cozy Eat-in Kitchen

This kitchen has two cabinets, a stove and a mini fridge. The only reason you eat in here is because there is no place else to eat. SEE: Intimate Family Room, below.

Intimate Family Room

Your entire family will be squished together on the floor watching American Idol, because the room is too small for your couch.

Dripping with Charm

The roof leaks.

Priced Below Market

Yes, if this was 2005. Otherwise, it’s way too much money.

The Bank’s Loss Is Your Gain

Really? When have you ever seen a bank give away something for free? Once I got a toaster, but a house is a different thing entirely. And the toaster never worked anyway.

Ready to Move in

It’s empty except for the family of spiders that have taken up residence in the bathtub.

Views! Views! Views!

On a clear day, if you stand in the living room next to the window, turn slightly to the right and squint you can see a mountain. ALTERNATE DEFINITION: A supermodel is your neighbor and she forgets to close the blinds. Harry searched for this house, but we never found it.

Handyman Special

The sellers broke everything and you can now pay them for the privilege of fixing it all yourself.

Ready for You to Make Your Own

The sellers took everything, including the built-in appliances, lighting, and carpet.

Professionally Staged

The house looked awful, so we paid someone to come in and make it look better. Once we take all their stuff away, the house will look awful again.

Entertainer’s Dream

A group of rowdy teenagers broke into this vacant house and had a party. They left the empty keg, beer-stained carpet and cigarette butts in the overflowing toilets for the lucky buyer.

Motivated Seller

They are desperate, but not so desperate that they won’t laugh at your prudently low offer.

So you see, I am fairly fluent. And just in case you were wondering, yes, the house I bought had one of those terms in its ad. We ended up with the Entertainer’s Dream, equipped with the features listed above!

~Laurie Sontag

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