Making sense of real estate jargon

By Mark Rosanes | 18 Sep 2020

Sneaky agents often use confusing buzzwords to mislead unwitting buyers. Avoid getting scammed by learning the meaning behind real estate jargon.

Let’s make one thing clear – not all real estate agents are expert manipulators. Most are caring and honest professionals whose goal is to match buyers with their ideal property.

But some properties are harder to sell than others. And when push comes to shove, some sneaky agents employ misleading tactics to trick buyers to at least take a look at a property.

These agents will post online listings that use eye-catching terminology to elicit views and clicks with the hope of finding a willing buyer. To help potential homebuyers see through their tricks, Your Investment Property lists a few common real estate buzzwords that some agents use to garner attention, along with what these words actually mean.  


Cosy means to impart a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation. Who wouldn’t want that kind of property? But it can also mean small or tiny. So, a “cosy apartment” or “cosy home” could mean a very small property, which could hardly fit all essential furniture.

Freshly updated

There are benefits to buying freshly updated properties. The question is what kind of updates have been done. A fully renovated property means most of the house is brand new, which also adds to the overall price. But if the updates merely involve freshly painted walls, it can be disappointing for buyers.

Hidden gem

For buyers who value privacy, a “hidden gem” is very attractive. But it could also mean a property is in a remote location where access to services is limited.

Hurry! Selling fast!

Terms like these are meant to elicit a sense of urgency, which could be effective since humans naturally dislike missing out on things.

Iconic development

Iconic means widely recognized and well-established. And for buyers and investors who value prestige more than anything else, properties in iconic locations or built by iconic developers are great options.

In need of a little TLC

This could honestly mean that a property would benefit from a little tender loving care, like a new lick of paint or the sprucing up of a garden. But it could also mean that a property is falling apart and may need a complete rebuild.

Last one!

Having one last property selling in a development is a positive sign because buyers and investors are flocking there to purchase properties. However, this last property might be not be selling because, for one reason or another, no one wants to buy it.

Low-maintenance garden

A small courtyard with a few potted plants or a backyard covered with concrete, paving, or pebbles is definitely low maintenance. Descriptions like this could be a red flag.

Near transport, within walking distance

A property near public transport or with accessible commute is a great option for buyers. But if it’s located next to a train line or a busy highway, the benefits are diminished.   

Original al fresco entertainment area

These terms mean a property has a back porch. Whether the porch is in good condition for entertaining visitors is another question.

Perfect starter home

One good thing about these types of properties is that they’re h usually inexpensive – but this could be for a number of reasons. A property might be cheap because it is in a very remote location, or too small to fit all home essentials.

Reduced price, offers considered

These terms often indicate that a property is struggling to sell for undisclosed reasons. The price might also have been slashed because the original asking price was too high. However, these situations could open opportunities for buyers and investors to snag a bargain.

Renovator’s delight, huge potential

The property’s a wreck and is probably close to a new build. This could be a delight for renovators who are up for a challenge and have vision to see great potential underneath the rubble.


Obviously, many properties actually do have three bedrooms – but promoting a study nook that won’t even fit a single bed as a “third bedroom” is definitely misleading.

Property investment requires careful planning and tons of research. So, it pays for investors to practice due diligence and not to take anything at face value. Being able to tune out all the marketing noise will enable buyers to find the perfect property minus the frustration and disappointment.

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