10 Common Estate Agent Terms Explained

You can see it now, children playing at the local park, fetching a loaf of bread from the bakery on your way home. You know the name of your postman’s children and everything you could possibly need is within walking distance.

Doorsteps aren’t like other agents. Our houses are all listed with detailed descriptions and we provide as much information as possible. We believe transparency is key for our customers, meaning we will always be completely honest in our property listings and estate agent terms.

However, some estate agents employ creative license in their own property specifications. Have you ever viewed a property that didn’t match up to its description and photos? Below, we shine a light on some of the estate agent terms that could be open to interpretation.

In Need of Modernisation

Properties listed with this in the details fall into one of two categories. On one hand you could be presented with a home that has a low asking price, leaving you with the finances to renovate the property to a high standard. A genuine project property. On the other hand there are instances when ‘in need of modernisation’ has been used a zealously. If the property is beyond repair or has been derelict for years, it is best for agents to be open and honest. After all, there is more chance of an offer being placed if genuinely interested parties are viewing.


When you think of a charming home you may picture an idyllic country cottage or a terraced mews on a leafy London street. Typically, charming is used in place of ‘small’ to describe homes that are tiny, without putting potential viewers off.

Charming social media post, description of charming as a noun, verb and real estate term.
Charming, Doorsteps Instagram Post


Is on of many estate agent terms translated from French. Pied-a-terre means ‘foot on the ground’. Many estate agents use the term to describe apartments or flats used as a second residence. A large portion of these homes are used Monday to Friday by workers before they leave the city for homes in the country over the weekend. They are often smaller than your residential city dwelling for this reason, but some can be more pokey than others.

Ideal for Investors

A genuine investment property? A property you don’t want to live in personally but somebody desperately seeking a new home might? Wise to tread carefully with these properties. We always say a viewing is incredibly important.

Village Location

You can see it now, children playing at the local park, fetching a loaf of bread from the bakery on your way home. You know the name of your postman’s children and everything you could possibly need is within walking distance. The village dream. Despite this, be aware that it could also be a ghost town where outsiders are not always welcome. An estate agent term to be wary of.

5 Holcombe Village

Viewing Recommended

Homes listed for sale with this comment in the description can potentially be hidden gems. More often than not, viewing recommended tends to mean that the photographs don’t do the property justice. The exterior of the home isn’t very exciting, but the interior is amazing or has great promise. Sometimes you may also see ‘diamond in the rough’ used in similar property listings.


This is similar to when an estate agent refers to a home as a blank canvas. On one hand it could mean that the home is neutrally decorated and gardens neat, tidy, and easy to maintain. Nonetheless, it can be a way of stating that the previous owner hasn’t done anything to the property. Fantastic news if you are going to completely redecorate. Not so great if you’re looking for a property that is a little more polished.

Community Feel

Either your potential neighbours are involved in everyone’s business or they are friendly and you may exchange a hello and have a chinwag. Whilst having a pleasant relationship with those who live around you can create harmony, be weary that the community element could be disguising busy body residents.

Sought After Location

This may be an indication that you’ll be up against countless other interested homeowners-to-be. Homes for sale in popular locations can often end in a bidding war so it could be a warning to prepare to pay around the asking price. Also scope to be gazumped at the last minute. Not for the faint hearted.

Südwind, Lots Ait 41

Quiet Neighbourhood

Sounds perfect, right? To be able to sit in your garden and hear nothing but the birds tweeting and a lawnmower humming in the distance. This term could also be used to describe a location where the majority of your neighbours may be elderly. On the other hand, might be the sort of place where you’re reported for starting your car too early to clear any ice or your dog’s occasional garden barks are met with passive aggressive notes through your door.

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