Lisa and Jim's Northern Nevada Real Estate Blog: Interpreting ... The Real Estate Ads ... The Rest Of The Story!

Interpreting ... The Real Estate Ads ... The Rest Of The Story!

Interpreting ... The Real Estate Ads ...  The Rest Of The Story!  

In Carson Valley, Nevada ... like every other residential community, reading a page of real estate advertising can only lead one to think that most real estate agents took the same creative writing class.  We're all guilty of it, and somehow nothing changes.  How painful is it to read ad after ad with the same subjective meaningless descriptions!  So what do they mean? 

"Gourmet Kitchen" - This is a fun one.  Once in awhile we'll run across a true gourmet cook and their mockery of an advertised gourmet kitchen that is so named for the oversized hood over the range, or double ovens makes even the most serious barbecue-cook agent understand that a single appliance does not a gourmet kitchen make.  "Oversize Garage" - What's normal?  Is three car the new two car?  Is it an oversize three car, i.e.- room for a work bench, or a two car with a small shop area?  How big is your car/truck?  Is the garage still oversized? 

"Owner Said Bring All Offers" - Okay, so they are motivated, but what does that statement really mean?  Will they accept any offer ... of course not, even though that is what seems to be implied. 

How about "Priced to Sell"?  Aren't they all?  Why is it listed if it isn't priced to sell?  Oh... this one is below market... or so it implies.  It may be well priced, but don't take their word for it - verify with your own market study. 

Then there is "minutes away" from _____ fill in the blank.  How many minutes are "minutes"?  Five?  Twenty five? Who knows?  It sounds great in print, however, when you want to be near shopping, skiing, schools, etc.  Be sure of what the distance or travel time really is. 

"Privacy abounds" - This is very subjective.  Can you walk around your property nude, or merely sunbathe sans swimsuit in the backyard?  Does privacy include freedom from sound intrusion, i.e.- vehicles, music, etc.  Privacy varies from individual to individual.  Sometimes private is too private.  Even though the Buyer wanted privacy they didn't want seclusion.  Define private. 

Realtors are bound by law and the Realtor code of Ethics to tell the truth in advertising.  Be advised that we've seen some amazing "By Owner" ads that have taken some extreme liberties with reality.  Just because they aren't an agent doesn't mean they aren't obligated to tell the truth.  That is how lawsuits are created.  Nobody wants a lawsuit so be careful when you are attracted to a property because of something in an ad - verify facts to your own satisfaction regardless of who wrote the ad.  Be sure you truly understand what it is that you are buying. 

Our advice:  Keep in mind that ads are meant to make the phone ring.  If a property is described too accurately there is no need to call for details.  Much of that mindset is changing with the tremendous growth of Internet real estate marketing, but in print media it remains the same.  If you have to call for details, ask specifics, i.e.- what is the brand of range in the "gourmet" kitchen.  If the description is "puffed" too much then you should beware of other puffing during the course of a transaction.  A few liberties can be taken, but deception is never acceptable.  The old days of "spring on property" meaning an old mattress have been gone for 50 years. 

After you've checked out the language of the ad look closely at the pictures.  Ultra wide-angle make the rooms larger?  Isn't it fun to look beyond your first impression of the ad?  Don't fault the agent - they're just trying to get you to look at their listing.  When you buy it aren't you glad they did what they did!  

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs... Experience is Priceless!  Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, CDPE, SFR, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472. carsonvalleyland@hotmai,


Lisa Wetzel and Jim Valentine are the authors of this blog.  Lisa, Jim  and Jessie are experts in Carson Valley , Carson City and the tri-county area of Douglas County , Carson City and Lyon County.  Call our team anytime at 775-781-5472 or 775-781-3704.  To Search for Homes go to: Carson Valley Listing Book  or visit our website at

Comment balloon 1 commentLisa Wetzel • April 05 2010 11:46PM


Lisa- Sometimes the descriptions are a little overzealous aren't they.  Of course everyone has different taste and sometimes one persons castle is really just a mobile home.

Posted by Samantha Davault, Fort Worth, TX (Alexander Chandler Realty) over 10 years ago