As stories abound once more of
broom cupboards, sorry, studio flats exchanging for exorbitant sums in Knightsbridge, we asked a cross section of estate agents what words they use to optimistically describe the less salient features of a property.
Some of the results are below, though funnily enough the agents asked not to be quoted directly, however see if you recognise some of the phrases in your own property descriptions….
Bijou: Every agent’s favourite. Bijou is short hand for ‘no room to swing the proverbial pussy’ but cosy, compact and intimately proportioned have all been used by agents wanting to avoid the word ‘small’.
Diverse: Not necessarily a negative term, a diverse area is just that. A great mix of cultures and creeds rubbing along together is something that UK cities should rightly be proud of. But what agent hasn’t also used diverse to mean that young families will be living nose to nipple with the local brothel and your tasteful water feature may well be used as a latrine for passing drunks?
Up and Coming: Everyone wants to know where the next property hotspot will be and so ‘up and coming’ is often a beacon to the first time buyer, squeezed middle families and wannabe investors. Yes, planning applications may well be a good indication of an area’s potential but in estate agent parlance up and coming is often the same length as a piece of string.
Must be seen: Come on agents, you have all used this one. Words could not even begin to describe the property and the photographer could do nothing to hide the current owners taste in décor so a property ‘must be seen’ in order for you to get a potential purchaser round and you do your spiel of how great the home could be with just a lick of paint and a few walls knocked down.
Chi-Chi: ‘This chi-chi property must be seen’. Yes the two go hand in hand. Because chi-chi in property parlance is really just a nice way of saying nice, which in agent speak doesn’t mean chic, modern, contemporary or even traditional. It means ghastly twee and chintzy, and so to be fully appreciated ‘this chi-chi property must be seen’.
Great potential: Anyone who has ever watched Sarah Beeney jiggling around a dump of a property will know exactly what this means. Yes every property has potential, if you knock it down and start again…
Wow Factor: Another property developer favourite. Purchasers think wow factor indicates the ridiculously opulent bathroom or the chandelier in the hallway. Such features hide the real wow factor of realising you have just purchased a mediocre property at way over its real value and that chandelier was never even part of the fixtures and fittings.
Are you an agent who has used such phrases to gloss over the drab reality of a properties true lack of features? Use our comments section to fess up and share your lexicon of euphemisms…