Over-used and Misleading MLS® Words

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.  I would like to 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 Whether or not the property is remotely close to stunning

It’s tough to imagine a “stunning” one bedroom bungalow on the west end, is it not?  And yet, we see this all the time.  I suppose a $60,000 bungalow can be “stunning” if you’re living in your mother’s basement. It maybe “stunning” when compared to a dozen other distressed bungalows at 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…


Does anybody walk anymore?

It seems as though every MLS® listing assumes that people merrily travel to-and-fro, happily and gleefully.

“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? I would absolutely LOVE to see “Strut Over to the grocery store” 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.

“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,” or even “retro”

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,” says hundreds of 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?


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 floor?

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.


“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 tiny?

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


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” 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.”


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.

 “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.

You can say “upgraded” for anything.  Any feature or finish is a step up from the one below it.

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 said that…

I see condos listed for $120,000 or houses listed for $200,000, and I see “luxury” or “luxurious” in the descriptions, and I think 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 I have barely scratched the surface on misleading words in MLS® listings, Please feel free to message me if there are any MLS® descriptions you would like to address the next blog.

Have a wonderful weekend!

If you’re planning on Buying or Selling a home, Please feel free to contact Danielle Lunetta directly at (519) 817-0815 or by email at [email protected]