I believe that over time, classified advertising has caused the evolution of real estate speak. Why? If you fill up an ad with words like new kitchen, park view there is not enough space for words like sun-drenched, fabulous and triplemint. I think the use of acronyms is on the decline but still has a long way to go.

The brokerage community needs to communicate better with their potential clients, especially now that the market has eased and marketing and connecting with the consumer takes on more importance.

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Here’s a few points of view on real estate acronyms, lingo and jargon.

  • TCICBTTOAL – The consumer is confused by this type of abbreviated language. Its denotes a clubby, elitist and/or old-school service.

  • REAAU – Real estate acronyms are unprofessional

In other words, just spell it out.

I collected several master lists of acronyms and jargon and I find it amazing that they are even necessary to reference:

Here R some fab favs 4 U:

Some basics
1. frplc, fplc, FP = fireplace
2. gar = garage
3. HDW, HWF, Hdwd = hardwood floors
4. hi ceils = high ceilings
5. MLS = Multiple Listing Service
6. vw, vu, vws, vus = view(s)
7. FDR = formal dining room
8. HVAC = Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning

Is it really worth abbreviating?
1. expansion pot’l = expansion potential
2. grmet kit = gourmet kitchen
3. assum. fin. = assumable financing
4. nr bst schls = near the best schools
5. fab pentrm = fabulous pentroom
6. q pos= quick possession

1. Wow! = better check this one out.
2. lo dues = low dues
3. FROG = finished room over garage
4. OWC = owner will compromise

1. close to or convenient to = a lot closer than you would want
2. compact = tiny
3. mature garden = needs an industrial weeder
4. intimate = claustrophobics
5. TLC = wreck
6. interesting or unique = shag carpeting and a floor plan designed by Dr. Seuss

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5 Responses to “Real Estate Lingo, Jargon and Acronyms Are A PITA”

  1. Julie says:

    Outdoor space = in NYC this is a fire escape.

  2. UrbanDigs says:


    Check out this pad I’m selling in UES by owner for now but still willing to pay commission if you bring in offer close to ask…


    Big fire escape!

  3. jf says:

    I suspect the high cost of classified advertising in such venues as the New York Times may have contributed to the proliferation of acronyms/abbreviations/shorthand in the real estate industry, as well as any other that needed to advertise. Jonathan, can I interest you in a ’67 Chevy Vette, 327/400hp 4spd, mint, 10K mi. $50K or BO?

    Now if you ever wondered why legal documents, on the other hand, are verbose, it’s because lawyers were paid by the word.

    So it all comes down to simple economics.

  4. Jonathan J. Miller says:

    jf – absolutely. However: 1st nd apprvl frm wf

  5. Mark Ting says:

    Thanks, very useful info.

    Hey, how about adding a post on how to read a GFE or HUD-1 Settlement Statement?

    We have the same situation in the mortgage industry; however, rather than acronyms, you have to deal with section #s.