Read between the lines…

I’ve toured just about every available home in the Historic West End, and most in Westview. Why? Because 1) I like (and NEED) to know my inventory and 2) I like to view houses.

Like many of you, what moved me to view these homes were the few pictures on the MLS, and the ads detailing their attributes. These very convincing ads that either start or end with “Great for first time home owner”, had (and have) me viewing more than I can keep notes on (since most of my buyers fit this description). These descriptions have also surprised many of my buyers once we go and view the homes.

When I was looking for my first home, and read many of the ads, I immediately began to imagine myself in the homes. I thought of gleaming hardwood floors, a bright and sunny kitchen… spacious –sterile, CLEAN bathrooms etc.. I quickly snapped out of that thought after viewing my first 5 homes. My picture perfect “first time home buyer” homes- were NOT like that at all. In fact, I couldn’t even imagine sending anyone in the house to clean it before I moved in.

Today, I came across an article about advertising homes that may not fit the picture-perfect fantasy. I thought about the many other advisements I’ve read that have not added up or met the expectations set by the ad….then I wondered if it was the Ad- or ME. After reading the article, I know it was me.

My problem: I didn’t read between the lines.

Here are some examples of ad words that “emphasize the positive” (the source, this was taken from is listed below). Take a look, get a good chuckle- do you remember seeing these in any of the ad’s for homes that have caught your attention?

  • Convenient to shopping: Next to a strip mall.
  • Convenient to freeway: Next to the on-ramp.
  • Seller has left you to your own imagination: Hasn’t been updated since 1940.
  • Great bones: You’ll need to tear it down to the studs.
  • Charming: Small.
  • Cozy: Tiny.
  • Cute: Small and fussy.
  • Dollhouse, adorable: Nauseatingly cute.
  • Unique: Remodeled by someone on acid.
  • Handyman special: Bring boots.
  • Motivated seller: They need to sell before they default on their mortgage.
  • Very quiet interior: You can barely hear the freeway with the windows shut.

Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Aubrey Cohen (11/21/07)

Now you too can read between the lines, and with a better understanding of this- know what to expect when you view your, “soon to be dream home.”

Author: niaknowles

Real Estate Broker, Christian Yogi, Mother of three

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