Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Of estate agents

My eldest son and family are currently house-hunting. Which means that I keep searching on online on their behalf, for the sheer pleasure of looking into other people's houses and offering uncalled-for advice ("we've SEEN that one, Mum, but it's no good"). And why is it no good? Because of the dreaded and familiar estate-agent-speak, familiar to anyone who has ever tried to buy a house. Let me remind you of a few choice words/phrases:

Stunning = not stunning. A least, not in the sense they would have you believe.
Charming = dilapidated. Avoid.
Spacious = smallish.
Generous = small.
Cosy = it's a cupboard. That's why it's situated under the stairs.
Opportunity = forget it. You haven't got time for this kind of opportunity.
Scope = ditto.
View = you can see over the hedge/wall. Just.
Stunning view = you can see a tree.
Summer house = shed.

And so on. As a final insult to the prospective buyer's intelligence, they invariably add "viewing recommended". How many people actually buy a house without seeing it?

But I'll carry on searching because....well, it's kind of addictive. Plus, my new year resolutions kick in in two days' time, and I shall be Busy.

31 comments:

  1. When looking for a house I checked that the kitchen was big enough to eat in. On visiting the property it evidently wasn't and when I pointed it out the estate agent said you could eat in it if you put up a card table and sat on a stool.

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  2. What I've always found really puzzling about estate adverts in England is that they never tell you the actual size of a place. They tell you the number of bedrooms, but how big are they, and how big is the rest of the house? A house is not just bedrooms, is it... I can much better imagine the real size of a place when I know its square metres. For instance, my flat has 2 bedrooms - one is mine, the other one is The Third Room, then there is the living room, the kitchen and the bathroom. But what does that really tell you about its size? All these rooms could be really big, or very small, or somewhere in between. But if I tell you that my flat has roughly 70 m2, that is a fact and not some estate agent's idea of "spacious" or "generous".

    He he love the "charming" and "cosy" translations!

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    1. The size is in the small print, Meike.

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  3. We are in the same situation Frances....and my son and dil put in an offer on somewhere today! I'm crossing my fingers, eyes and legs that they get it..x

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    1. Good uck, Libby. Mine have just been gazumped. Again.

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  4. Oh yes, I like looking in other people houses! I like all those relocation/buying new homes type programmes on TV. Hope you had a lovely Christmas, and I look forward to reading your posts in the New Year…and I wish you a Happy One. X

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    1. Thank you, Frances. A happy new year to you, too.

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  5. Well I don't know whether this is the norm in Scotland (where Solicitors are generally Estate Agents) but on our local sites the measurements are all given for example here.

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    1. I've looked at the site you have linked to, Graham, and yes, that one gives all the measurements. But looking at this example, you get measurements only if you open the floor plan.

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    2. Measurements are there if you look closely, but the descriptions and photos are very deceptive.

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  6. Surely all houses aren't poky? I wonder what they say about the genuinely spacious ones.

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    1. Maybe I exaggerate a little, Z, but then so do the estate agents....

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  7. I do know someone who purchased the wrong house. He had looked at several and got them muddled up.

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    1. Brilliant! But I do hope he managed to rectify the matter?

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  8. 'Requires sympathetic purchaser' is a good one too.

    My wife often watches house-hunting programmes on TV, and it drives me crazy when I hear them talking of 'vaulted ceilings' when they are obviously talking about 'beams'. Are estate agents required to attend school, or do they just have to buy a cheap suit?

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    1. Oh yes! For sympathy, read money. Lots of it.

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  9. Good to be reminded of these, Frances, as we hope to downsize this coming year if possible! Something tells me it will take a while to find the right place. Good luck to your family!

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    1. Thanks, Rosemary. And good,luck to you, too.

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  10. I love looking at houses for sale and I particularly love the howlers you see on some particulars - like "defused lighting". Hope your family finds the house that is right for them xx

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  11. Ha ha - I remember it well... and have no plans to do it again!

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  12. Looking round houses can be quite fun - or rather I imagine it would be if you knew you didn't have to buy/rent any of them.

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  13. Real estate agents are a sordid lot. They are more impressed with their pictures in the home section of the classifieds than the "cozy" house they're trying to sell you. The most horrible job I ever had was working with a clutch of them.

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    1. Yvonne, I think our political leaders should all become estate agents. A nice clean sweep.

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  14. House hunting is one of the most stressful things we do, so I hope all goes well. It is fascinating to look at other people's homes though and I often watch Homes Under the Hammer or make-over programmes. Good luck to them.

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    1. Thanks, Maggie. No luck so far, though.

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  15. Estate agents talk a completely different language to the rest of us.

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    1. And their use of English is appalling, Colette!

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