I’ve been working with a great young couple who have uncovered the secret code of Realtors.
They will be relocating to the Hendersonville, NC area and have taken a very active role in their search by doing a drive by on every home they want to see. Not only does this save me valuable time, it helps them understand the various communities so they can narrow in on exactly where they want to be. The fact that they are incredibly tech savvy and can find any location on their phone or Ipad…and get there… has been a bonus. When we go out to look at homes together, they have already scoped out the area and are ready to take a closer look.
Along the way they commented that they are learning to read between the lines and interpret the true meaning behind the words and phrases some Realtors employ when describing a property. Here are a few of the highlights that we’ve uncovered during several of their now famous drive bys:
“Serene pond” – Translation: Stagnant body of water. After one particular visit on their own, they described this “serene pond” to me in terms of the murky color, the strange smell, and the zombie fish moving slowing through the still water. We surmised that they were probably preserving their energy because of the lack of oxygen in the water which made us all kinda sad for the fish.
“Private wooded setting” – Translation: You better pack a lunch. If you live in an urban area, a “private wooded setting” may describe a property with some trees and something slightly more than a half an acre. Here in the mountains, it can mean something quite different and you better be prepared for anything. It could mean, just as it sounds, a nice home on a wooded lot surrounded by nature. Or, it might mean you better have 4WD and be able to navigate a steep gravel road deep into the woods where all the neighbors have four legs.
“Unique floor plan” – Translation: The opposite of open floor plan. I’m always leery of any description that includes the word “unique” unless it is accompanied by a picture to explain it. Otherwise, it leaves far too much to the imagination.
“Dine al dente” – Translation: ??. I actually saw this on a listing the other day.
If you are a fan of Italian food you probably already know that “al dente” describes the desired texture of cooked pasta. It literally means “to the tooth”. Perhaps this agent meant to say “al fresco” which means a casual form of dining outside. We may never know for certain, though.
“Creek on property” – Translation: There is some water on the property…somewhere. Finding land with a bold or even quietly babbling creek is a dream for many of our buyers…and I don’t blame them. It’s a very desirable feature. The question is “where” on the property. Is it by the building site or do you need repelling gear to get to it. If you are a buyer, this is where you really need an experienced agent who is willing to get their boots dirty helping you locate the creek.
My intention here is certainly not to disparage my fellow Realtors. When we list a property, it is our job to frame the home or land in the best possible light, highlighting the best features, minimizing the less desirable ones. You have to admit, though, that sometimes a property’s description and what it is in reality can vary drastically and that can set a buyer up for a heap of disappointment. It’s just one of the many reasons why you need the help of a knowledgeable, experienced agent who can translate the code for you and cut through the fluff.
Like this couple I’m working with, today’s buyers are more informed than ever and often know a lot about a property before we ever meet. But no third party web site like Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com can ever replace an agent who is experienced and knowledgable about the area where they do business.
If you are buying or selling a home or land and would like some help deciphering and navigating western North Carolina, give us a call. We are full time, professional Realtors proudly serving buyers and sellers in Brevard, Hendersonville, Pisgah Forest, Asheville, and all the great little mountain communities in between.