Lots of the blogs various members of the group write are about the correct use of language. For instance it’s only a week or so since Jenny wrote about the misuse of words such as full, fuller, fullest. It struck a chord for me because I am in the process of preparing my own home to sell, and consequently am looking at other properties to buy.Real estate agents must be the masters of inflationary language, followed closely by advertisers; I guess I could put in here - and car salesmen. But my concern is the language used in real estate advertisements.
‘Beautifully contoured garden.’ When I looked, the property sloped almost vertically down to the fence line with nothing but scruffy grass. Another agent described that property as ‘filled with potential for the keen gardener’ which was a little more realistic. But, although I’m a fairly enthusiastic gardener, I’m not a mountain goat. If the property had honestly been described as ‘steep’ I needn’t have wasted my own or the agent’s time.
All lounges are ‘spacious’ even if reasonably only two chairs can be slotted in, or the front door cannot be fully opened without hitting the couch, sideboard or television. Another advertisement claimed a property has a ‘marvellous free flowing living area’ but omitted to mention it had no dining area of any sort, not even a couple of bar stools at the kitchen bench. Bathrooms are ‘beautifully appointed’, even if they don’t have a shower.
These experiences have made me wonder how I should advertise my own property when the time comes.
‘Private, right of way property. Four bedroom home on relatively flat area, remainder of section steep and covered in native bush. Kitchen and bathroom due for a tidy up but fully functional. Lounge and dining room large and comfortable, opening to north facing deck. Internal garage.’
Which would be an honest, unvarnished sort of description. Or, in order to catch people’s attention must I resort to the language others use, presumably because that’s what other buyers understand?
‘Listen to the tuis all day in this very private, large, four bedroom home, set in wonderful bush clad paradise. Built in the days when houses were built well, designed for comfort and well proportioned. Generously sized, efficient kitchen, spacious bathroom and beautiful sunny lounge and dining room opening onto expansive north facing deck.’
Actually, that sounds exactly what I want. Maybe I’ve been unlucky and not all agents are wrong after all. Pragmatism has its points, but a little bit of enthusiasm or idealism certainly whets the appetite.
Maybe I’ll stay here.