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The New Language of Un-Real Estate

Welcome to the New World. Recently a colleague and I were discussing all the changes we have witnessed since entering the wacky world of real estate. Of course we laughed about inebriated clowns at open houses, giveaway psychic readings, tofu fantasies, pony rides on dyspeptic ponies, stripper poles in living rooms and talking toilets.  We also discussed how the language of real estate has changed. Just as “phat” is not fat, and “bad” can be good, the verbiage of our business has presented new challenges. Thus, here for your perusal you will find a few phrases that have new meaning:

Did You Get Your License At Clown College?

“The seller is motivated” (So was the guy who built the Taj Mahal)

“The buyer is solid” (Yeah, that was also the take on Mel Gibson…)

“20% down should suffice” (Unless it’s 2010. Oh, but wait…)

“This will go fast” (Cue the music for Jeopardy, please. Now repeat. And again. Zzzzz…)

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“We can close in thirty days” (Yes, but which thirty days?)

“We can get a loan approval fast” (Yes, but your mom’s word doesn’t count)

“This is an ‘as is’ sale (Unless it’s a buyers’ market in 2010 when buyers are asking for your cajones. Oh, but wait…) 

Welcome to 2010 

“This is a quiet neighborhood” (Except for the gunshots…)

“You can always re-fi later” (HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa)

 “I see black stuff on the bathroom ceiling” (I see blood all over the contract)

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“Real estate is a solid investment” (So was the Sony Walkman.)

“Home of former celebrity” (Location of former intervention)

“We expect multiples” (That’s what Sybil said.) 

Reality Has Left The Building 

“Friendly Dog in back” (Hungry pit bull on premises)

“Cooperative Seller” (Hungry pit bull on premises.)

“Experienced agent” (Hungry pit bull on premises.)

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“I’ll speak with the short sale negotiator” (Oh, are you planning to conduct a séance?)

“Security will be present.” (They must be expecting the New Jersey Housewives.)

“Your home is your best protection” (Well, maybe if the house warming gift is nitroglycerin.)

“Designer Done Writers Retreat in Convenient Location”  (Tool shed with new paint near the freeway.)

“The bank will look out for you” (HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa) 

And For the Encore 

“We anticipate a quick response” (Thank you, British Petroleum,)

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Written By

I wear several hats: My mink fedora real estate hat belongs to Sotheby’s International Realty on the world famous Sunset Strip. I’M not world famous, but I've garnered a few Top Producer credits along the way. I also wear a coonskin writer's cap with an arrow through it, having written a few novels and screenplays and scored a few awards there, too. (The arrow was from a tasteless critic.) My sequined turban is my thespian hat for my roles on stage, and in film and television, Dahling. You can check me out in all my infamy at LinkedIn,, SherlockOfHomes, IMDB or you can shoot arrows at my head via email. I can take it.



  1. Joe Loomer

    August 6, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Welcome back Gwen! We MISSED you!

    One of my favorites is the all-encompassing “buyer must be pre-qualified or provide proof of funds.” Yeah, everyone’s prequal’d these days, right.

    Oh, and the easiest way to NOT sell your listing category?
    “Listing Agent must accompany.” (Buyers agent must avoid you like the plague)

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Lani Rosales

    August 6, 2010 at 11:41 am

    “The bank will look out for you” omg, that’s a laugh! How could anyone say that with a straight face!?

  3. Alan Harris

    August 6, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Thanks…That was a great laugh!

  4. KWC Property Buyers

    August 6, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Fantastic list! Sometimes the real estate market and world can get so stagnent. Your real world “translations” definitely put a smile on my face. Thanks!

  5. Gwen Banta

    August 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I also just saw this one: “celebrity neighborhood.” Really, does Alf count?

  6. loftninja

    August 6, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    I find this particularly interesting considering the fact that you describe UNreal estate as “New”….i began blogging back in 2004 as an unreal estate agent in Brooklyn…you can see some of my archived “unreal estate art/ads” here if you’re up for some nonsensical-yet-humourously-entertaining “real estatemeants” here:

    in fact, unreal estate (which i purposely defined as the opposite of what I built it to be) is what i battle, using unreal estate…example here:

    the fact of the matter is, there is so much garbage put out there by real estate agents with real intentions that there has to be some sort of way to battle these guys on their own terms…i mean, if you’re gonna use the language of hiphop and even worse, attempt to include the jargon used by your kids in a real estate listing, you better be ready to battle. Art is the only way to put yourself out there as an unreal estate agent, if you plan to still be honest and informative about what you do as a professional. I absolutely loathe traditional forms of real estate advertising and hate even more the window of opportunity that it leaves for people to be down right liars and swindlers. If you’re gonna peddle bullshit, don’t try to disguise it as geniune-but rather, tell the truth and disguise it as bullshit…at least then you always know who you’re dealing with…someone with the capability of seeing something that is hidden..burn a hole in their mind and always tell the truth in a colorful manner. If you can’t see what it is that I am peddling, i’d rather you not call me anyway.
    Nevertheless, loftninja only helps artists and the underdog….I ain’t sellin houses…i like to think of unreal estate (if done properly) as the alternative to guessing whos full of shit.
    NOTICE: very few real estate people have the ability to pull this off…

  7. teralmc

    August 10, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    This is my third year in real estate and I entered this wacky world just in time to see the kaleidoscope spin.

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