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Estate agent jargon buster: just what does ‘character features’ mean?

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Written by:
04/06/2013
How many times have you gone to view a property only to find that it was anything but 'cosy and full of character'? We bring you the dictionary that decodes estate agent speak.

Being a traditional estate agent is arguably the UK’s most contemptuous profession.

Not only is it one of the few industries not to be formally regulated, but for years the British public has been fleeced by traditional estate agents charging an extortionate and unnecessary 1-2% plus vat commission for simply selling their home.

That means that on a house worth £250,000, the average estate agent makes £4,000 in commission. Infuriating? 

You may not be able to do much about what they charge, unless you go it alone, but you can definitely read-up on ‘estate agent speak’ and decode just what the advertisement really says. 

Below are the most often uttered estate agent speak and what they mean, according to eMoov.co.uk. 

Estate Agent Speak
“Ideal for the first-time buyer or as a buy-to-let investment”
Translation
“The property’s small and in a terrible area “

Estate Agent Speak
“The property has excellent transport links”
Translation
“There’s a motorway and or busy railway line right next to it”

Estate Agent Speak
“In need of modernisation”
Translation
“This property hasn’t been updated since the 1970s and needs a complete refit”

Estate Agent Speak
“Tremendous scope for improvement. A real blank canvass”
Translation
“Derelict”

Estate Agent Speak
“In need of some updating and offered with no onward chain”
Translation
“An old lady has recently died in the house and it hasn’t been decorated since she originally moved in fifty years ago”

Estate Agent Speak
“An ideal purchase as your first three bedroom home”
Translation
“You can barely fit a bed into the third bedroom”

Estate Agent Speak
“Set within a purpose-built residential development”
Translation
“This property is in the middle of a large housing estate”

Estate Agent Speak
“A cosy property in a rural location”
Translation
“This property is small and the nearest shop is 20 minutes’ drive away”

Estate Agent Speak
“A garden flat”
Translation
“A dark and most probably damp basement flat”

Estate Agent Speak
“Bordering the sought-after area of North Clapham”
Translation
“The property is actually in Stockwell”

Estate Agent Speak
“The property has many character features”
Translation
“The ceilings are extremely low”

Estate Agent Speak
“Low maintenance rear garden”
Translation
“The garden is concrete”

Estate Agent Speak
“Easy to maintain living space”
Translation
“It’s really incredibly small”

Estate Agent Speak
“Conveniently located”
Translation
“Next door to a busy main road and above a take away”

Estate Agent Speak
“Situated in a stamp duty exempt area”
Translation
“Situated in a deprived part of town”

Estate Agent Speak
“Unexpectedly re-available”
Translation
“The previous buyer pulled out at the last minute due to major problems / the surveyor revealed that the property is vastly over-priced”

Estate Agent Speak
“New Price!”
Translation
“This property was massively over priced in the first place”

Estate Agent Speak
“Reduced”
Translation
“Desperate”

Estate Agent Speak
” Character….”
Translation
“Dilapidated”

Estate Agent Speak
“Within easy reach of local schools….”
Translation
“Kids will congregate outside your house at lunchtime and drop litter all over your driveway “

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