What is the deal with these agents that have to talk in real estate lingo?, don't they learn to speak in layman's terms? Are they trying to?

Asked by Shawniqua Brown, Brooklyn, NY Thu Nov 5, 2009

impress?, What words should I know when I go apartment hunting?

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Joseph Runfo…, Agent, Staten Island, NY
Thu Nov 5, 2009
Hello Shawniqua, you are right, Real Estate Agents or any professional person should remember that not everybody is familiar with job specific terminology. Here are some words you should be familiar with when talking about apartments;
Pre-war buildings
By definition, a building built before World War II. These buildings are usually ten to twenty stories tall and are sought after for their larger rooms, fireplaces, hardwood floors and higher ceilings. They may or may not provide a doorman.
Post-war buildings
These buildings were built between the late 1940s and the late 1970s. They are generally hi-rise and most have doormen.
Elevator buildings
This term usually describes a 6 to 20 stories tall non-doorman building which may be pre-war or post-war. Elevator buildings usually have an intercom or video security system.
Walk-up buildings
This is the least expensive type of housing in New York City and the quality can vary widely. Usually these are 4 to 5 story buildings with no doorman and no elevator. They were originally constructed as multi-family dwellings and do not exude the charm or elegance of brownstones or townhomes.
Brownstone or Townhouse
4-6 story buildings built in the 1800s to early 1900s. These can be single family houses or may have been converted over the years into multiple apartments. They are prized for their charm and elegance. In almost all cases these buildings do not have a doorman.
Loft apartments
Former commercial or industrial buildings that have been converted into apartments. These buildings almost never provide a doorman and usually consist of vast spaces with high ceilings.
Web Reference:  http://www.clovelake.com
4 votes
Joseph Runfo…, Agent, Staten Island, NY
Thu Nov 5, 2009
In addition to the words I mentioned above you should know; New York State Disclosure Form for Landlords and Tenants, which you can find at http://www.dos.state.ny.us/lcns/legamd.htm, the Lead Paint Disclosure form which you can find at http://www.epa.gov/lead/pubs/lesr_eng.pdf, and the following: Studio
One or two rooms with combined living and sleeping areas.
Alcove studio
A one or two room apartment with a separate alcove which can be used as a sleeping or dining area. Alcoves usually adjoin the living room space of the apartment, are generally less than 100 square feet and can sometimes be walled off to create an additional bedroom.
An apartment with an alcove off of the living room has been converted into a bedroom or dining room. For example, a Junior 4 would be a three room apartment, (living room, kitchen and bedroom), which has four rooms by using the alcove space to create an additional room.
This is typically an apartment with an alcove adjacent to the living room that can be used to create another room by using this "flexible" space to "convert" the apartment from, for example, a one bedroom to a two bedroom.
The word "classic" is usually followed by a number indicating the number of rooms in an apartment. It is usually associated with pre-war apartments that meet criteria for numbers of rooms and design. However, a "classic" can exist in a post-war building assuming it follows the same guidelines. As an example, a "classic six " is comprised of a living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a maid's room. A "classic seven" is comprised of a living room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms and a maid's room.
Loft area
This is an additional space created in apartments with very high ceilings. The loft area is constructed above the living area, accessed via a staircase or ladder and used for extra storage, sleeping or living space (e.g. an office.)
In Manhattan this refers to an apartment with two floors or on two levels and not to two apartment units.
Web Reference:  http://www.clovelake.com
4 votes
., , Columbus, OH
Thu Nov 5, 2009
If you aren't getting "straight talk" from an agent, keep shopping, so to speak, until you find one that does give you that...then...REMAIN LOYAL TO THEM!!! We run commission based businesses, which means we invest time in our potential clients at no cost to them on the hope we get paid eventually when a sale or lease occurs.


Disclaimer: I am a licensed real estate broker and property/casualty insurance agent in the State of Ohio, providing information and sharing experiences acquired over 15 years in the industries. I do not profess to be qualified to give advice in any other field, though will share opinions and information obtained during my course of work. It is always highly recommended that consumers seek counsel from a specialist in each area in which there is a question or concern.
2 votes
Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Thu Nov 5, 2009
When you talk to a mechanic he will mention ball joints, tie rods, starters, crankshafts and so on. A body man will talk about rocker panels, quarter panels, fenders, floor boards, and so on. A business man will talk about R.O.I., pre-tax, revenue, and more.

What it comes down to is one simple fact. Each profession has its own terminology. Once the person gets used to speaking the language of the profession he forgets that not everyone speaks the same language. When you talk in certain terms all day long it can be hard to realize others do not understand what you mean.

Most times if you just say I do not understand. Can you explain to me what you mean ANY professional will be glad to try to explain it more simply so you can understand. But if you do not say anything they think you understand the same words they use all the time.

It really is not about trying to impress you with their vast knowledge. It is about them being so comfortable with the terms they do not even realize others do not speak the same language. So ask them for a translation. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised at how willing they are to help you understand just what they have been trying to tell you.
1 vote
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