17 Phrases to Avoid for a Successful Real Estate Sale


Crafting a compelling real estate listing requires finesse and an acute understanding of what to include and avoid when showing potential buyers around the property. It also requires intensive research and an extensive knowledge of the human psyche. Here are 17 phrases you should steer clear of in your real estate listings.

“Needs TLC”


While this phrase might seem innocuous, it can often signal to potential buyers that the property requires significant repairs or renovations, deterring them from further interest.



Although “cozy” can sometimes be interpreted positively, it can be a euphemism for small or cramped spaces. It’s best to describe the size and layout of the property more accurately and clearly.

“Motivated Seller”

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This phrase may inadvertently convey desperation, giving buyers leverage during negotiations and lowering the perceived value of the property.

“As Is”


It’s important to be transparent about the condition of the property. Saying “as is” in the listing can raise red flags for prospective buyers, leading them to question the property’s upkeep and maintenance history.



Every property has distinct features. Labeling it as “unique” without providing context can be vague and uninformative. Instead, highlight specific features that set the property apart from others on the market.

“Investment Opportunity”

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While some buyers may be drawn to properties with investment potential, using this phrase without providing concrete data or projections can come across as speculative, and it may not resonate with all potential buyers.

“Cosmetic Updates Needed”


Like “needs TLC,” this expression can deter buyers looking for move-in-ready properties and may overestimate the work required to bring the property up to their standards.

“Handyman Special”


Even though this phrase may attract buyers looking for fixer-upper projects, it can also signal to potential buyers that the property has significant issues that may require extensive repairs.

“Quiet Neighborhood”


While a quiet neighborhood can be a desirable feature for many buyers, it is essential to provide context and clarify what “quiet” means in this context. Is it secluded from traffic noise or lacking in community activity?

“Starter Home”


This term may appeal to first-time buyers, but it can also inadvertently limit the appeal of the property to a specific demographic. Instead, focus on the features and amenities that make the property suitable for many buyers.

“Priced to Sell”

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While it’s understandable to want to convey that the property is competitively priced, using this phrase without providing supporting evidence or comparative market analysis can come across as gimmicky.

“Viewing By Appointment Only”


Although it’s essential to respect the privacy of current occupants, overly restrictive viewing conditions can deter potential buyers who may prefer more flexibility in scheduling property tours.

“Seller Financing Available”


Seller financing can be a possible option for some buyers, advertising it prominently in the listing can attract individuals who may not qualify for traditional financing, potentially leading to complications during the sale process.

“Potential Rental Income”

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While highlighting potential rental income can appeal to investors, it’s essential to provide realistic projections based on market rates and occupancy trends rather than speculative estimates.

“Previously Owned”

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Although technically accurate, this phrase can inadvertently draw attention to the fact that the property is not brand new, potentially overshadowing its unique features and amenities.

“Up-and-Coming Neighborhood”


This expression may pique the interest of buyers looking for emerging real estate markets. Still, providing context and data to support this claim is essential rather than relying on vague terminology.

“Seller Will Consider All Offers”


While it’s crucial to convey flexibility in negotiations, using this phrase without qualifying criteria can attract low-ball offers and signal to potential buyers that the seller may be desperate to sell, potentially undermining the property’s perceived value.


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