Real estate listings are meant to draw people in. This inevitably results in vague wording to obscure potential issues, and over time agents have developed specific buzzwords for this purpose. This isn’t necessarily a malicious trick; it’s no different than any other attempt at salespersonship. Not all of these necessarily mean there’s something wrong with the property, but what it does mean is that you should be aware that you may not be getting what you expect.
Several of these attempt to put a positive or neutral spin on something that isn’t desirable. These include terms such as “vintage” or “old world charm” or even “comfy,” that often just mean it’s worn out and out of date. Phrases like “one of a kind” and “transports you” actually mean that there’s nothing compelling about the property, so no one wants to copy it and residents prefer to think about being elsewhere. A listing stating “backs up to a green belt” may be entirely truthful, but since a green belt just means construction is prohibited, there are a lot of things that are legally categorized as green belts that aren’t particularly green — like a section devoted to power lines. Similar is the term “updated,” which doesn’t necessarily imply the updates are recent. Other common adjectives are too vague or subjective to be meaningful: a neighborhood described as “vibrant,” “quiet,” or simply “good.”