A simple guide to ‘real estate speak’ for property buyers

Guide to property buyers, real estate speak

A simple guide to ‘real estate speak’ for property buyers

By Bianca Dabu | 10 April 2018

While investors can get friendly with an agent in order to try and get as much as a possible in to potential buying leads, at the end of the day agents are trying to sell property for their clients, and there are some whose goal to sell a particular property becomes too aggressive—using confusing ‘real estate speak’ to influence a purchase. 

Some of the most common cliches and marketing ploys made by agents, according to Property Buyers and Management’s Robert Skeen, include:

“Price guides”

Seasoned investors and buyers who have spent time looking for property know that quoted prices are “always undercooked”, according to Mr Skeen.

When asked directly, agents often give frustrating answers about the asset’s price, he said, so his advice to investors: “Add at least another 10 per cent to the higher end of the guide and go from there”.

“Subject to council approval (STCA)”

Naturally, agents drop the STCA as a common selling line for a property that has ‘potential for improvement’.


This may seem to make the property more attractive, but according to Mr Skeen, buyers must be wary if they hear this from an agent.

“Agents add STCA to their marketing campaigns with little to no knowledge of what’s actually possible,” he said.

Dropping the STCA line doesn’t mean that any application to the council for development is guaranteed.

“Close to transport”

As one of the most used marketing tactic by agents, ‘close to transport’ can be misleading, Mr Skeen said.

While transportation is one of the fundamental factors to look for when buying an investment property, he strongly encouraged investors to be careful about just how close the asset is to major transport systems.

According to him: “When they say ‘close’, do they mean your windows are rattling every time a train goes past or you’re ducking every time a plane takes off?”

“Will suit first-home buyers”

Sometimes, this line can sound like you’re getting a bargain, but this could also mean that you’re about to buy a ‘bad’ property.

“This property [may] likely [be] so unappealing that only rookie buyers and investors would touch it with a 50-foot pole,” Mr Skeen explained.

“Plenty of potential”

Grand renovation projects and house improvements can be promised with this ‘potential’, however, renovation can cost much higher than what is anticipated.

Find a good property that does not need renovation and improvements to avoid parting with money, Mr Skeen recommended.

Alternatively, you can budget your renovation and improvement plans to make use of the ‘potential’ promised with a limited budget to save time and be free from unnecessary heartaches and expenses, he said.

“Recently renovated”

While this could mean that a house looks almost brand new, property buyers must learn to look past the aesthetics of good paintwork and shiny floorboards.

Mr Skeen said: “Potentially, it could be a cheap renovation turnaround for a quick sale”.



An estate refers to the assets a person owns at death that could be used to pay their debts, including all personal property, real property and other liquid assets.


An estate is the value of an individual’s net worth including assets, properties, financial securities and other valuable assets.


Property refers to either a tangible or intangible item that an individual or business has legal rights or ownership of, such as houses, cars, stocks or bond certificates.

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A simple guide to ‘real estate speak’ for property buyers
Guide to property buyers, real estate speak
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