Boston's Most Creative Real Estate Listings

I don’t get to watch Ellen very often, but I recently came across this segment on a site for real estate agents:

Now, there is not an agent out there who hasn’t made a typo or offered less-than-inspired prose for their property descriptions. But the above shows some real doozies.

More interesting to me are the intentional, creative bendings of the English language and grammar often employed by real estate agents around these parts. Long before Twitter’s 140-character limit, the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has limited agents to a 500-character limit. That may seem like a generous enough amount, but when effusive and expansive agents want to do justice to a listing of which they are particularly proud, creativity really flows. I have been vowing for years to start my own gallery of offenders — but have yet to follow through. Let’s start one now, shall we?

Right off the bat, I would like to start with the Hall of Fame category so I can retire the the non-word, “fireplaced,” as in “a fireplaced living room.” This one is well-worn at this point. Agents, please stop with the “fireplaced.” It’s killing me.

I recently saw another example of the creation of a verb out of thin air when I read that a house had been “Pottery Barned.” There are no words — literally, in this case. My only response is send you to the one website that has consistently made me laugh out loud, Catalog Living (“a glimpse into the exciting world of the people living in your catalogs”). I get Pottery Barned every time I visit the site.

For a consistent and creative use of caps, I always come back to one agent who never fails to disappoint. In fact, all I did was enter one of the main towns in which he does business, and this classic came up first:

AN ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE in BRICK with ROMAN ARCHES, COLUMNS, and MAGNIFICENT DESIGN ELEMENTS appear throughout this 3000SF “Italian Villa” inspired residence. The FOYER welcomes you with a GRAND STAIRCASE and custom MARBLE FLOORS and is flanked by a FORMAL fireplaced SITTINGROOM and FORMAL fireplaced DININGROOM perfect for large scale entertaining. ENJOY COOKING in your “out of this world” GRANITE KITCHEN w/island that overlooks your INGROUND POOL or retire to your FIREPLACED MASTER SUITE!

As with “Pottery Barned,” this one reminds me of another bit: Marble Columns on Saturday Night Live.

By the way, you can apparently pick up “AN ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE in BRICK with ROMAN ARCHES, COLUMNS, and MAGNIFICENT DESIGN ELEMENTS” around Boston for … wait for it …. $429,000. Dude, it’s a MASTERPIECE! IN BRICK! That should be, like Tom Brady money!

Though that agent is always flowery and generous in his arbitrary use of capitalization, I would posit that the above might be his MASTERPIECE description.

On the other side of the spectrum, in the same town, another listing for a foreclosure starts with the sentence, “Bank indicates this is their price.” Warm and fuzzy is right out the window on that one.

I don’t mean to pick on this one particular town, but the grammar is just so scrumptious. How about this plea:

“Please don’t be Fooled, as This Is Not Your Typical Cape.It Offers an Open and Flowing First Floor.”

Oh, we should just keep collecting these. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.