20 things estate agents say and what they really mean

New to househunting? We feel your pain. Learn to read the truth behind estate-agent speak and it will save you a whole heap of time and energy. Here's our handy glossary - early viewing is essential

Estate agents, bless them, have their own special way with words. And, as
if spiralling house prices aren’t enough to sink all hope in
prospective first-time buyers, they also have to navigate the thorny
double-speak of the profession’s property descriptions.

We’ve all been there – beside ourselves with excitement about our carefully curated, must-see list of properties that have filled our waking – and sleeping – moments for days, only to stand outside said property and feel the earth give way beneath our feet. Disappointed!

Anyone who’s been searching for their dream home through months of frustrated viewings will have learned to fine-tune their reading-between-the-lines skills to Enigma code-breaking levels. But if you’re new to the game, we hope our little estate-agent translations may help get you started:

Estate agents say: Some original features are retained

Estate agents mean: But most have been stolen

Estate agents say: Gas cooker point, space for fridge-freezer

Estate agents mean: No cooker. Or fridge-freezer

Estate agents say: Requires some TLC

Estate agents mean: But only from the electrician, plumber, carpenter, builder, decorator, carpet fitter, roofer and local planning officer

Estate agents say: Part refurbished

They mean: …but then the money ran out

Estate agents say: Wood-effect units

They mean: It is impossible to say what these units are made of

Estate agents say: Easy access to local shops, public transport and motorway links

They mean: Wear ear plugs at all times

Estate agents say: Transport links can be sourced locally

They mean: Good luck finding them

Estate agents say: Dining room with open access to the kitchen

They mean: Kitchen-diner

Estate agents say: Utility room comprising light and power

They mean: And little else

Estate agents say: Active town centre

They mean: My, the locals do enjoy their ale

Estate agents say: Double glazed and centrally heated (where specified)

They mean: No double glazing. Or central heating

Estate agents say: Realistically priced

They mean: Astronomically expensive

Estate agents say: Feature electric fire

They mean: You might want to cover this up when you have visitors

Estate agents say: Mostly laid to lawn

They mean: Rubble and shopping trolleys also feature

Estate agents say: Low-maintenance garden

They mean: Concrete

Estate agents say: French doors allowing natural light to flood in

They mean: No curtains

Estate agents say: Enclosed rear garden, which is not overlooked

They mean: This house is on wasteland

Estate agents say: Gated access to street

They mean: It’s for your own protection

Estate agents say: Deceptively spacious

They mean: Small

Estate agents say: Excellent opportunity/offering superb value/attractively priced

They mean: For pity’s sake, help us out. This thing’s been on our books for months

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*Image Which Way is the Housing Market Going by Images Money is licensed under CC by 2.0

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