20 things estate agents say and what they actually mean

New to house-hunting? 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.

estate agents house renting

(Image credit: TBC)

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!

Want more property stories? READ: 5 important reasons why buying a house makes more financial sense than renting

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:

20 things estate agents say and what they actually mean

(Image credit: Future PLC/Rachael Smith)

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

Read more: 7 easy ways to take the stress out of buying your new home

Happy house hunting!

Deputy Editor

Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.