The real estate business is rife with euphemisms. A fixer-upper becomes a handyman’s dream; a tiny home with tiny rooms becomes cozy; a moldy, spiderweb-infested cottage in the woods becomes rustic; and so forth.

Everything is relative. Descriptive words like “excellent” and “unique” are only meaningful when used to compare two or more things. Alone, they’re virtually meaningless because every one of us pictures something different in our mind’s eye when we hear those words, if we picture anything at all. So, when an agent tells you a home is in excellent condition, be cautious.

Looks can be deceiving. A home that sparkles and gleams with curb appeal might be hiding plumbing problems. Conversely, a home with spotless hardwood floors might need a new roof. Your friendly, honest Realtor will very likely tell you that the best thing to do as a potential buyer is have a professional inspect it before you make an offer, no matter what it looks like.

Just the Facts, Ma’amInterviewing Your Real Estate Agent Image

Exaggeration and hyperbole might lead potential buyers to a real estate property, but it’s likely to backfire if what they see doesn’t even come close to what they expected. Many Realtors and buyers say that these kinds of tactics are, more often than not, counterproductive and a waste of everybody’s time.

Kitchen upgrades can raise the value of older homes. Owners install modern appliances and granite countertops to spruce things up. Where problems arise is on that fine line between “upgrade” and “remodel”. Most reputable agents will not say a kitchen has been completely remodeled if all that’s new are the appliances.

Fixer-uppers can provide wonderful opportunities for buying homes at bargain prices. If you’re handy with a hammer and don’t mind making multiple trips to the hardware store, this may be the house for you. It also could turn out to be a money pit.

Generally, a fixer-upper is considered to be a home that requires more elbow grease than money and construction expertise. The problem is the term often is used to describe homes that are badly in need of major repairs.

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This is filed under National Markets.


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