Most Overused & Overexaggerated MLS Words

One simple blog post does NOT do justice to the sheer amout of over-used adjectives, descriptions, buzz-words, catch-phrases, and sayings that we see on MLS on a daily basis!

So with that in mind, I’m going to break this down into two blog posts over the next two days:

1) Over-used words
2) Over-used phrases

Words can be adjectives used to describe features, verbs that tell you how to enjoy the property, or nouns that are so-called “features” within the home.

The phrases are a whole other ballgame, which we’ll see in tomorrow’s post.

Let’s have some fun with this!  And I guarantee you’ll want to add your two cents by the end…



Stunning appears in virtually every MLS listing, regardless of:

a) the price point
b) whether or not the property is remotely close to stunning

It’s tough to imagine a “stunning” bachelor condo, is it not?  And yet, we see this all the time.  I suppose a $329,900 condo can be “stunning” if you’re living in your mother’s basement, and yes, it can be “stunning” when compared to a dozen other condos in the same price point which all show poorly.  But is that all it takes for something to be “stunning” – it just has to not show poorly?

I’m constantly stunned by the amount of properties that are described as stunning, especially those that my buyers don’t want to see, let alone purchase.


Does anybody walk anymore?

It seems as though every MLS listing assumes that people merrily travel to-and-fro, happily, gleefully, and, with a hop in their step!

“Stroll to shops,” we always see on MLS.  “Stroll to the beach.”  “Stroll to the park.”

What about “strut?”  Why don’t we strut anywhere?  Like, if you’re walking down the street, carrying paint cans, in the 70’s……maybe about to win a disco-dancing competition……maybe with the Bee-Gees playing…….maybe in a leisure suit…

I would absolutely LOVE to see “Strut Over To Withrow Park And Show Whatcha Got” in an MLS listing one day.”

I guess when you live “steps to” someplace, you can “stroll” there.  You’d better be in the mood to stroll, otherwise, you’re really just walking.


This word is used so incorrectly, it drives me nuts.

“Contemporary” means “of the present time.”  It’s essentially a synonym for “modern.”

But people use “contemporary” on MLS as though it means “futuristic” or “European,” ie. the super-new-age houses with glass panes instead of railings, a sheen on the kitchen cabinets that wont wear off in the next century.

And even when it is used correctly, it’s really just one of those meaningless words – like calling food “tasty.”  All food has taste, right?  So any new house, is new.  And anything new, is contemporary, because it’s of the present time.


This one drives me insane.

Not just because every MLS listing has this, but because some areas are called prime when they are not!

“Prime Location,” says basically every MLS listing for a CityPlace condo.

Or “Prime Leslieville,” says a listing for a house that is a full kilometre outside even the furthest and most conservative boundary of Leslieville.  Yes that’s right, “prime” is often used to cover up a lie when it comes to location.”

“Prime,” says another hundred listings, with no follow-up wording.  Just “prime.”  Prime what?  Rib?

“Absolutely Prime.”  WHAT is?  The house?  The location?  The price?  The description that you just wrote for the listing?  Are you just patting yourself on the back by ending the remarks by saying, “Absolutely Prime”?


By definition, “immaculate” means: free from fault or flaw.

That’s a pretty big statement!

You mean I can’t find ONE crumb in the utensil drawer, or one knick on the hardwood?

As with “prime” and “stunning,” this word appears more often than it should, and I’d go as far as to say that when something is described as “immaculate,” it usually isn’t.

“Impeccable” is interchangeable with “immaculate.”  They may as well say “Imaccable.”


When did this become a good thing?

I think “oversized,” I think about a sign on a truck that says “wide load.”

I think “oversized,” I think about my wife saying to me, “Your head is so gigantic, how does it stay on your neck without knocking you over?”

But “oversized,” good or bad, is used to describe anything and everything on MLS.  You’ll see “oversized pantry,” but what are we comparing it to?  And “oversized kitchen,” as though all kitchens are the same size.  And if the kitchen really is “oversized,” then does that mean the living room is teenie-tiny?

“Oversized garage.”  Great.  So I have no main floor family room?

I guess I figure if something is over what it should be, then we’re losing space somewhere else.


Just answer this question: if you see the phrase “designer finishes,” does that mean that a designer picked them?  Or you picked them, but somewhere, some place, a designer also picked them?

Do you have to have Ralph Lauren paints on the wall?  Or can a designer just pick Benjamin Moore, and claim the colours are “designer?”

“Designer finishes throughout.”  You can pick up a bathroom vanity for $400 at Home Depot, that has a granite counter attached, and call this “designer” on MLS.  In fact, people do every day.

“Designer” has absolutely no meaning, unless you state who the designer of the home is, and that person has an identifiable brand value.


Toilet?  Check.  Sink?  Check.  Shower?  Check.

Okay, that’s it.  We got ourselves a “spa-like” bathroom!

Every bathroom on MLS seems to have some sort of “spa” element to it, like flowing water, or a mirror, or a counter, or a floor, or a light, or……you get it.

“Spa” is used in tandem with many other words on MLS: “spa-like,” “spa-style,” “spa-inspired.”  If you can think it, they will use it!


This is just stupid.

Every house has “potential.”

You can tear down the entire house, and the lot itself has “potential.”

“Potential to renovate,” or “potential to improve.”  “Potential fourth bathroom.”

Everything is possible, in theory.

But in practice, this might not make any sense.

“Potential walk-in closet.”  Sure, if you cut the bedroom in half…


Imagine seeing this word anywhere even near a condominium building with 28 active listings?  Yes – that’s where I found this one.

“Updated” or “Upgraded”

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so “upgraded finishes” could mean a stainless steel dishwasher, compared to a standard black/white appliance.  But it could also mean a Wolf range, instead of a crappy stainless steel Fridigdaire, that costs $600 at Home Depot.

You can say “upgraded” for anything.  Any feature or finish is a step up from the one below it.  And you think that’s not true, just consider that somewhere in the world, there’s a person living without ANY flooring; just laying on the dirt.  So if you called your flooring “upgraded,” and it’s actually the cheapest flooring you can buy, well…..

“Updated” can mean anything as well.  It could have been “updated” twenty years ago.

And what is updated?  The whole house?  Or just one room?  Even if it’s just one room, that still means you can say “house has been updated,” and you wouldn’t be wrong.


One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  Oh, wait, I just said that…

I see condos listed for $400,000, or houses listed for $700,000, and I see “luxury” or “luxurious” in the descriptions, and I think that these people should learn what the word actually means.  Like “contemporary” or “immaculate,” but I digress…

Having said that, “luxury” doesn’t necessarily mean “expensive,” so not every $3 Million condo or house can claim to be “luxurious.”  It just doesn’t work that way.

I feel as though we’ve barely scratched the surface today!

Let me know what I’ve missed, and tomorrow I want to go through phrases, such as, “custom built,” or “professionally finished.”

What the hell isn’t professionally finished?  What does it take to be a professional?



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  1. Conan ford says:

    Out here in Alberta, all locations are “prestigious”.

  2. Dave says:

    house. 3 bedrooms. medium sized. appliances ok. separate basement entrance. parking.

    who wants to buy that?

  3. Kyle says:

    It makes me laugh when a property is described as “Executive”. It reminds me of 80’s marketing when they used “Executive” to describe things like car phones (does anyone else remember Cantel or the squiggly antennae on the rear windshield?).

  4. Raiana Schwenker says:

    Hilarious! So on point. Im sure i’m at least a little bit guilty too, if not a lot. Looking forward to tomorrow’s phrases!

  5. Rob says:


    Ceilings are never anything else, ever.

  6. Keith says:

    I love “oasis” and “only minutes from” and “groomed” and “sensational”. Actually, I love it all.

  7. jeff316 says:

    “This Home is in GREAT shape and has 3 LARGE Bedrooms(no joke)”
    “You can reside on the hill in an awesome casa at this price! No joke”
    “World’s Fasted Sale needed; must close before 4/1/2014 and that’s No Joke!”
    “No joke just add stairs and you have two more rooms of usable space beautifully”
    “Absolute Stunner (No Joke) On Quiet, Coveted Ilford Rd”
    “No joke. Fab flow & loads of orig details will dazzle you.”
    “Adorable and affordable. No jokes, no gimmicks, this is s darling single family home”
    “been occupied by a single woman…no pets, no kids, no smoke, no joke, it must be seen”
    “This house is Amazing! I want it! No joke! You will!”

    1. oren says:

      It’s apparent that no one jokes on MLS…

  8. Julie says:

    I’ve seen a couple of listings where instead of ‘in demand neighbourhood’, annoying and often false in itself, have ‘demanding neighbourhood’ which just conjures up so many funny scenarios in my head!!

    1. GinaTO says:

      I was going to say just that! Recently I’ve seen, in more than one listing, “demand neighbourhood”… whatever that could be…

  9. SCM says:

    I can’t believe how often ‘easily converted’ is used; only someone who has never been through a renovation would fall for that one!

  10. Vlad says:

    Love this one, Dave. Actually my wife and I have a running joke whenever we look at listings. We use the FIND function and search the word “stunning.” Funny how it shows up in almost every listing out there. At some point, being stunned so often could lead to brain damage, no?

  11. Izzy Bedibida says:

    Ravine Lot is another term that is very open to interpratation.
    I have seen everything from a drainage ditch to a backyard that slopes away from the house.

  12. Paully says:

    I am always amazed at how many listings describe a place as “quite,” when they obviously meant “quiet.”

    Poor spelling or proof-reading aside, can any place in the 416 really be considered quiet? Step out on the balcony and hear some highway off in the distance.