20 things estate agents say and what they actually mean

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  • 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

    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:

    estate agents

    Image credit: 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!

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