Reading real estate listings can be a real challenge for the uninitiated. The abbreviations are confusing, and the descriptions are designed to appeal to the buyer’s hopes and dreams, emphasizing the positive while downplaying any potential issues with the home.

Understanding what the descriptors mean, and perhaps more importantly, analyzing your own needs and desires, helps you to choose the home that will suit your family for years to come.

Reading Real Estate Listings is Easy, No really!

Understanding real estate listings doesn’t have to be an insurmountable challenge. Within context, most abbreviations are easy to decode. While “cozy fixer-upper” is simple enough to decipher, what about a home that’s listed as having CAC and CH, as well as HDWD FLRS and a GRMT KIT, and an AEK?

The savvy reader will accurately guess that this home has central air conditioning and central heating. The floors are hardwood, and the home sports a gourmet kitchen. All the appliances are powered by electricity in an “AEK“- an all-electric kitchen.

This is How Listings Are Sorted

Listings are most frequently sorted by the number of bedrooms and bathrooms a house has. Consider not only the size of your family but the ways in which you intend to use the rooms.

Will you need an extra room to install an in-home office? Once you’ve chosen the number of bedrooms and decided on the number of bathrooms, you can narrow down the choices.

The next thing to look at is the details. A CATH CEIL (cathedral ceiling) indicates an elegant style while a f/fin (fully finished basement) may be ideal for young families with active kids. If you’re looking for a home in move-in condition, look for Q POS, short for quick possession. An EFF KIT, or efficiency kitchen, is much more compact than a traditional kitchen. A home with efficiency may be apartment-sized, perfect for a single person who prefers a smaller home with a lower maintenance commitment. A manageable lawn also indicates a smaller home.

Wall-to-wall carpet, abbreviated to W/ W CPT, is a luxury many families enjoy, and a WBFP (wood-burning fireplace) provides an extra touch of nostalgia. A W/ D indicates that the home has a washer and dryer, and a WIC is a walk-in closet. Families with young children will want to watch for SP or PL in their listings, which indicate that the home comes with a swimming pool.

Once you understand the details presented in real estate listings, the task of searching out the perfect home becomes much less complex says, ‘Local Records Office’. Viewing homes takes time and can be exhausting. You won’t want to waste time viewing homes that don’t fit your criteria. Be sure to discuss your family’s needs with your agent so that you can work together to find the right home for your family.

Understanding the listings empowers buyers. Choosing the right home to visit depends upon understanding the listing, and accurately interpreting the codes used to describe the home. Once you know how to read real estate listings, you gain control over the process of searching for your next home.


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