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  • Reality of the market has yet to hit property brochures

    October 26, 2012 @ 1:42 pm | by Edel Morgan

    Now that's a residence!

    It’s almost  the end of 2012  and let’s face it, the property market is all about reality these days…some would say grim reality so why haven’t some estate agents tempered the grandiose  language in their brochures to reflect the general mood, one wonders?  It’s supposed to be a new era of transparency following the introduction of the  Property Services Regulation Act 2011 so shouldn’t that involve a rethink on the adjective  count  in the average brochure?

    Take for example the use, or misuse,  of the word “residence”  which seems to apply to  the  pokiest townhouse and  modest three-bed semi. While referring to a small house as a residence  isn’t wrong exactly, it is a tad misleading, or it would be if you couldn’t see the photos. Maybe the hope is if they use the word often enough it will subliminally trick the buyer into thinking  they are buying Downton Abbey .

    There seems to be a brochure  template that some agents sleepwalk through whereby all cul-de-sacs are quiet , all patios are perfect for al fresco dining and all south and west  facing gardens are sunny even in the depths of winter.

    Properties are  attributed  feelings, they enjoy all sorts of things including the benefit of being in a  good location, they can boast and, most alarmingly,  they can even exude.

    If they’ve got any age at all , they are invariably referred to as “charming”  and “characterful”,  the locations of properties  are often  “second to none”. Although that kinda depends on who you ask, doesn’t it? Communal grounds are often manicured which  roughly translated  usually  means “not meadowland” . The spiel is often finished off with “viewing is highly recommended”…well they would say that wouldn’t they?

    And on the subject of  adjective counts, an estate agent in Carlow describes a house “in the beautiful picturesque village of Ballymurphy Co Carlow”, “a superb residence  that affords views in every direction and offers the opportunity for country living in a vibrant and welcoming community. The property itself is situated on approximately half an acre and is bounded by a beautiful stream. Surrounding the property are the foothills of Mount Leinster, and the spectacular scenery that accompanies them.”

    Phew…I’m exhausted thinking about all that beauty and splendour. Wouldn’t it be easier all around to let the photos speak for themselves with some supporting detail from the estate agent. The savvy potential buyers of today won’t be buying a place on the strength of fancy descriptions so why bother?


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