Sometimes I feel like the real estate industry has just been a 100-year-long social experiment: We give people a week of training, tell them they have unlimited income potential, and just let them go out there and start pitching. Too often the clichés they use make clients hate them and leave experienced agents rolling their eyes.

That’s why we worked with our team and some of our friends—including NYC Compass power broker Vickey Barron and top agents from Coldwell Banker Warburg—to put together this list of the most annoying, cringey, counterproductive clichés real estate agents use today, and what we think they should be saying instead.

Real Estate Listing Clichés

1. ‘Hidden Gem’

Even in this market, there’s a reason that gem has been overlooked. The listing might suggest a rare find to some buyers, but there are better ways to say that. 

What to Say Instead

You can still hype up the excitement for a good listing. Try something like, “This property is a rare find with unique features that often aren’t available.” 

2. ‘Perfect for Entertainers’

While this does suggest ample space for guests, it overlooks the needs of a more private and less social buyer. 

What to Say Instead

Highlight the space, not the end user. You can say something like, “The layout of this home provides an excellent setting for making memories.”

3. ‘One of a Kind’

My favorite time agents use this is in a suburb with block after block of similar houses and only five or six floor plans for the entire neighborhood. It just tends to be hyperbolic when describing a home, unless there’s a truly breathtaking feature. 

What to Say Instead

Try not to inflate a feature too much. Especially if it is special, there may be some buyers who don’t like it. You can use a phrase like this instead: “This home offers a distinctive layout that caters to a discerning homeowner.” 

4. ‘This Home Is Priced to Sell’

This immediately signals that your seller is motivated—maybe even desperate. Once buyers smell a bargain, you’re not going to be able to change their minds. 

What to Say Instead

Stay clear of relaying your seller’s intentions. Try something like, “This home is competitively priced to reflect the current market value.” After all, markets fluctuate, right? 

Image of man holding gardening tools, with a zoom in on his confused face

5. ‘Mature Garden’

A mature garden can be taken as an “overgrown lawn in need of landscaping work.”  

What to Say Instead

Landscaping, when done right, can be a game changer. Try something like, “This established garden landscape provides a lush and serene outdoor haven.” 

6. ‘A Nice Vintage Home’

Listen, there’s something to be said for the current trend of vintage chic. But that description may also suggest that your listing isn’t up to date. 

What to Say Instead

“This home has nostalgic, classic features.” 

7. ‘Perfect Starter Home’

A starter home is a great first step in owning real estate, but it might also imply that the property is temporary—or just not suited for the long term. Also keep in mind that one person’s starter home may be another’s upgrade. Best not to tread in these waters. 

What to Say Instead

“This property is an excellent opportunity for new homeowners to establish themselves in a community.”

Related Article
107 Best Real Estate Slogans & Taglines (+ Slogan Generator)

Pressure Tactics

8. ‘I Love Referrals!’

Yeah, they know. Literally every sales professional on Earth loves referrals. Do you also love oxygen and food?

What to Say Instead

Work a pitch for referrals into your closing process. This will give you a chance to make your case for earning a referral and also make it easy for clients to take the next step.

9. ‘Must See to Appreciate’

If you want to suggest that the value of a home isn’t apparent from the photos, this is a great way to instantly deflate the price just from your listing description. 

What to Say Instead

“Photos alone do not capture the full charm of this home. It’s something you’ll feel the moment you walk through the door.” 

10. ‘I Have Buyers Lined Up to Buy Your House!’

You know you’re lying. They know you’re lying. You know that they know you’re lying. They know that you know that they know you’re lying. So stop lying.

What to Say Instead

Use one of our FSBO scripts to make your case without the whopper.

Annoyed Gif

11. ‘Serious Buyers Only!’

I mean, are you trying to push leads away?

What to Say Instead

Just tell them how great the listing is.

12. ‘Call Me for Pictures!’

Unless you have a stunning, high-end pocket listing, this will almost always set off red flags for buyers. The first question they will ask themselves is: What are they hiding?

What to Say Instead

Nothing. Just take great pictures and post them.

Overpromising & Boasting

13. ‘That Tax Lien Can Be Cleared Up in a Week!’

If you ever wanted to see what the inside of a courtroom looks like from the defendant’s chair, saying things like this is for you.

What to Say Instead

Here’s the one sentence every real estate agent should have on their bathroom mirror: “I am not a lawyer or your lawyer, but I can help you find someone to research this.”

Woman on the phone, she says, "um, we got the w2's and the w9's, but where do we get three through eight?"

14. Brand-new Agent: ‘I’m the Best Agent in This City!!!’

One look at your Zillow profile will tell them otherwise. Getting your foot in the door based on a lie will usually come back to haunt you.

What to Say Instead

Don’t just say anything. You need to prove it. Testimonials and your branding are where you can back up this claim. Need help? Check out some of our favorite testimonial examples

15. ‘I Will Send You a Free Market Analysis!’

This one is from Compass New York City power broker Vickey Barron. We have to say we never really thought how silly it is to tell clients your comparative market analysis (CMA) is free when all CMAs are and always have been free. Vickey didn’t mince words on this one: “Seriously? When have we ever charged for one?”

What to Say Instead

“Hey, I just wrapped up a thorough market analysis for the house that we can go over in detail when we meet on Wednesday.”

Related Article
The Ultimate Real Estate Listing Marketing Plan (PDF Checklist)

16. ‘If Your Home Doesn’t Sell, I’ll Buy It!’

The first agent who came up with this probably made a ton of money. Today, it’s an old trick that almost everyone sees through right away.

What to Say Instead

“Pricing your home correctly is actually one of the most important steps in marketing. Let’s talk about what that means for your home.”

Man at altar, saying I Love Gooooold.

17. ‘Everything I Touch Turns to Sold!’

First, no it doesn’t. Second, you might want to actually read the story of King Midas before using this one. Spoiler: It didn’t end well for him.

What to Say Instead

Take the time and effort to come up with an original slogan that isn’t a cliché. We even have some slogan advice to help.

18. ‘I Can Get You More $$ for Your House Than Other Agents!’

You’re just begging to end up with a disappointed seller who stops returning your calls if you make promises like this.

What to Say Instead

“Pricing your home is the most important step in getting the most money possible for your home. I can help you look at the data to ensure you’re getting top dollar for your home.”

woman in pink suit saying, "stop lyin."

Misleading Descriptions

19. ‘This Home Is Being Sold As-is’

Before we hear the pushback, we know this is a useful term (and pretty straightforward). However, it’s not always used in the right way. This should only be used in the right circumstances—usually an investment context. 

What to Say Instead

Assuming you’re not targeting investors, try something like, “This home is being sold in its present condition, offering a great opportunity for your customization or investment.”

Related Article
How to Analyze Cash Flow Real Estate Investments + Attract Investor Clients

20. ‘That Wall isn’t Load-bearing!’

Are you a structural engineer or a real estate agent? Again, unless you want to wind up in court, avoid promising anything when it comes to renovations.

What to Say Instead

“Hmm, I’m not sure if this wall is load-bearing or not, but I will add this to my list of questions. I am going to text the listing agent tonight.”

Related Article
Fix & Flip 101: 10 Steps to Flipping Houses (the Right Way)

21. ‘Contractor’s Special’

We all get what you mean here—this property needs serious work. But there’s definitely a nicer way to put it. 

What to Say Instead

Again, try to keep the appeal to the space itself. Highlight it as “an excellent project for those looking to tailor a space to make it their own.” 

22. In a Cramped, Dingy Basement: ‘This Is Usable Space! Could Be an Art Studio!’

Honesty is always the best policy. Does that basement really look like it has potential for an art studio? If it doesn’t, then say so.

What to Say Instead

Maybe stop talking for a minute and just look at the damn basement with your buyer?

Stop Saying That Gif

23. Just Needs ‘A Little TLC’

This could be taken as a sign that the buyer might need to put in more work and effort than they want. 

What to Say Instead

“This home has great bones, ready for you to customize and make it your own.” 

Vague Statements & Ambiguity

man with cigar and beer in his hand on the coach showing off his pad

24. A Great Space for a ‘Bachelor Pad’

Let’s not alienate buyers who don’t fit into this narrative. After all, most cosmetic features can be changed easily enough. 

What to Say Instead

Keep the focus on the place. “This modern space is ideal for someone who appreciates style and efficiency.” 

25. ‘The Place Has an Efficient Layout’

We know what you mean here. It might be well-arranged, but you really just mean “cramped.” 

What to Say Instead

“The thoughtful layout of this home maximizes living space and provides a functional flow.”

26. ‘Check Out the Luxury Finishes!’

Unless you’re working with the Beverly Hillbillies, you should always just be honest about subjective elements like the quality of finishes.

What to Say Instead

“The owner just renovated the kitchen. I really like these cabinets—what do you think?”

woman telling another woman, "you said that!" and the other woman looks away.

Exaggerating the Location Benefits

27. ‘It’s Up-and-Coming!’

You’d be surprised how easy it is for a conversation like this to veer into fair housing violation territory.

What to Say Instead

Give them the data. “Prices for three-bedrooms in this neighborhood have gone up {#}% more than the rest of the city in the last {time period}. There’s also a great new coffee shop right around the corner.”

28. ‘This Property Is Nestled Away…’

You might as well say this property is cozy and hidden. And we all know what cozy means! 

What to Say Instead

“Nestled away” can have negative connotations. Try to say something like, “This home is comfortably situated in a peaceful neighborhood.”

29. ‘Steps Away From _______’

OK, this one is personal. It seems like every agent in New York City has used this line at least once in a listing. The Upper East Side is also “steps” away from Brooklyn. Thousands and thousands and thousands of steps.

What to Say Instead

Just give them a damn number! “Three blocks to Whole Foods!” How hard is that?

Related Article
How to Write Creative Real Estate Listing Descriptions (+ Examples)

Clichés That Annoy Other Agents

We spoke with top agents at Manhattan brokerage Coldwell Banker Warburg to hear their thoughts on some more clichés that annoy fellow agents. Check them out below.

Broker Sheila Trichter highlighted three phrases that drive her crazy:

‘Jaw-dropping Views’

“I always picture the broker’s jaw falling on the floor. Then, I pick it up and try to reconnect it to his face.”

‘Circle Back’

“Drives me crazy. I wonder, does the agent walk around in a circle? Doesn’t the agent get dizzy?”

‘No Problem’ Instead of ‘You’re Welcome’

“No problem, in general, is annoying.”

Broker Hala Lawrence offered another example:

‘Sun Splashed’

“This phrase seems to be everywhere, and it’s irritating. I think ‘flooded with sunlight’ is much better and not so phony-sounding.”

Agent Bonnie Lindenbaum contributed two more:

‘Price Improvement’ as Opposed to ‘Reduced’

“Who is the price improvement for? This feels confusing to everyone involved.”

‘Added Bedroom’

“Usually meaning a glorified closet with a window.”

Agent George Case translated three annoying cliches into layman’s terms:

‘The Market Dictates the Price’

“Translation to the seller: The property won’t sell at the price we agreed to, so we’ll have to lower it.”

‘It Has a Lot of Useable Space’

“Translation to the buyer: It’s small, but you can squeeze in. You’ll just need to hire a professional organizer to fit everything into the usable space.”

‘It’s a Jewel Box’

“Translation to the buyer: over-decorated, tiny apartment with a high price.”

Broker Gerard Splendore offered four more phrases to close us out:

‘This Won’t Last’

“Just imagine how this copy will read when your listing is over three months old.”

‘Do We Have a Deal?’

“The buyer should want to make an offer, not have to be prodded to do so.”

‘Bring Your Sunglasses’

“Implies there is never a cloudy or rainy day at this location.”

‘All the Bells & Whistles’

“What are you advertising? A circus float or a home?”

Over to You

What phrases drive you crazy when you hear an agent use them? Let us know in the comment section!

Related Article
Hilarious Real Estate Videos You Need in Your Life Right Now
Want More Leads? Download Our Free E-book
61 proven lead gen ideas from coaches & top-producing agents to help you close more deals.
This email address is invalid.
Want even more free resources?
Tell us about you so we know what to send.
By downloading, you’ll automatically subscribe to our weekly newsletter
Want More Leads? Download Our Free E-book
61 proven lead gen ideas from coaches & top-producing agents.
By downloading, you’ll automatically subscribe to our weekly newsletter
Want even more free resources? Tell us about you so we know what to send.