This post is dedicated to the misconstrued meanings that have really come to the forefront during this last few months of crazy real estate marketing times. I truly believe that a year or two ago, homes did sell themselves. I remember being at a party where a good friend of mine announced he and his wife had just bought their first home. They paid $5K more than list on the advice of their realtor because it was the house for them and there were multiple offers in on the first day. Another mutual friend, a RE appraiser at the time, laughed at them. A deep belly, open in-your-face type of laugh. It wasn't pleasant to witness this. It was funny though when those two had the talk about how the owner made 90% in two years when he sold that house.
But those times are over. Very few places have multiple offers on opening day. There's a lot more choice now. So RE marketers have to get creative to convince potential buyers to come check out their wares. Fair enough.
In that light, We present our list of favourite words and their new meanings as told to use by those said RE marketing pros:
- Open-Concept: My dad has open concept kitchen, dining room and living rooms. They total over 1000 SF. Now we see open concept used to describe one room that happens to serve three purposes, usually kitchen, living and dining. We used to call that small.
- Penthouse: once reserved for the uber-rich, now to be had by the first time buyer. If you're old enough to remember that classic 70s/80s show that made the catch phrase "what chew talkin' 'bout, Willis?" standard playground speak, you'll remember what a penthouse suite should be: one that comes with a cook and a butler downtown and is bigger than your house in suburbia. Apparently penthouse now means top floor 800 SF condo on Balmoral.
- Charming: can a house charm you? I know I've been in some houses that are attractive. Heck, I've even been in some condos that are well-appointed and nicely decorated. But doesn't charming require an interaction? Maybe the RE agent meant to say: "let me show you this property and I'll charm you into buying it"?
- Character: I could be wrong, but I always thought character meant a property that was built at a time long ago, say turn of the century or so, that uses techniques and products that are simply not available or duplicated anymore. Apparently a character home/suite now means it has wood in it somewhere.
- Harbour/Mountain Glimpses: I guess anyone in this town can make that claim. I mean you can pretty much stand on any property, on a clear day, and if the wind is blowing hard enough, and your neighbour's property leans far enough in said wind, there's a good chance you'll catch a glimpse of a harbour, or a mountain or maybe a tree. Whatever the case, it's a view, in a glimpse.
- Luxury: My favourite over-used de-legitimized word. You pay for luxury. Luxury makes you feel luxurious. I've stayed in some nice hotels. I've worked in "luxury hotels". Luxury hotels have cornered the market in making people feel luxurious. Even the guests that aren't staying in the big rooms with the harbour views. How do they do this? By treating them the same as the guest who is staying in the penthouse harbour view suite complete with butler. OK, well almost the same treatment anyway. It seems as though developers have caught this train too. Seems if you use stainless appliances (it doesn't matter that they're Kenmore brand and not Wolfe), install wood floors (apparently laminate now counts as wood), paint in "modern" colours and actually use anything other than melamine as a counter top, you can claim the "luxury" descriptor for your property. Square footage, location and actual luxury items are irrelevant in this day and age. Apparently my generation has an issue with saving and obtaining luxury status later in years; we want it all, we want it now, and we want it in Quadra Village.