Deciphering “Realtor-Speak”

“Tax Rex auto-fill mls as 4BR. 2nd BR on main used as TV room. Tax Rex say 2022 FSF I say 1,697. Upstairs BR has sitting room of 8×6.9 with cozy Window Seat. No RR’s just G-ma’s Cosmetics! SOLID HOME! Late April Close Needed for Estate Sale. AS-IS!”

–Excerpt, MLS listing

Need some help deciphering the above — starting with “tax rex?”  (the listing agent means “tax records”).

Here goes:

“Notwithstanding the information on Hennepin County’s tax records, this home is actually quite a bit smaller (by 300 finished square feet), and has one less legal Bedroom (three instead of four). 

The home is in good condition and has good bones, but the Kitchen and Baths haven’t been updated, and the wallpaper and carpet are (also) dated.

The Seller will fix the “repair or replace” items required by the city inspector, but otherwise is not going to tackle anything that may come up during the Buyer’s inspection.

The home hasn’t been staged (prepped for sale by someone with interior decorating skills).  Therefore, expect to find “Grandma’s cosmetics.”

In exchange for getting a faster close — possibly due to a reverse mortgage on the home — the Seller will make (some) price concessions.” 

Reading Between the Lines

How much should prospective Buyers care about the above (at least, ones willing to do some updating)?

Given the home’s terrific location (near the Mississippi River in Minneapolis), curb appeal, and very attractive asking price, my guess is, “not very much.”

And yes, in my experience it’s much better to set Buyers’ expectations lower and have them pleasantly surprised, rather than vice versa.

*Many Twin Cities municipalities (including Minneapolis) mandate a point-of-sale — or “Truth in Sale of Housing” — inspection before a home can be listed for sale.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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