Why did the Judge make the agent buy a new Corian® kitchen? Because the listing agent advertised the home for sale as having Corian® countertops in the kitchen. Guess What? They weren’t.
This happened back around 2003 / 2004 in Houston when I was first starting out. A couple bought a home in WestU that was marketed as having Corian® kitchens. About 8 months after the buyers purchased the property .. they chipped the countertop … and Corian® just doesn’t chip like that one did. Sooo.. the owners, who were both attorneys, went to court suing the Listing Agent, Listing Broker and The Seller and it ended up that the homeowners would receive a new Corian® kitchen, due to the fact a Corian® kitchen had been represented as a (prominent) feature of the home they purchased.
Many of you most likely know that Corian® is a brand name and unless it IS Corian® you can’t use that word in your description. Use instead a generic term like “solid-surface counter tops”.
BUT … I’ve noticed a number of other areas that still seem to trip up listing agents.
Like Corian®, Jacuzzi® is a brand name and it is not just an adjective to be used to describe a bathtub. If you don’t see the logo plate on it, don’t call it a Jacuzzi®— the same goes for the outdoor spa attached to the side of the swimming pool … refer to it as a heated spa … not “a Jacuzzi”. For your bathtubs if it has nozzles you could use “whirlpool tub” if it has tiny holes in the bottom, try “jetted tub” or “airjet tub”. In all cases you are best when referencing the brand name, but if you can’t see it … go with a generic description and err on the side of caution.
All white marble is not “carrara marble” this is not an adjective to describe white marble. Carrara marble (and Calacatta) are white marbles with grey markings that are imported from Italy. More specificially, they can ONLY be called Carrara or Calacatta if they are quarried from that specific region of Italy. If you don’t know .. just call it “white marble”… because you for sure don’t want to be in the position of paying to import white marble from Italy!
[BTW this is an excellent article by Debbie Snider showing you the difference (with photos) between Carrara and Calacatta white marbles — in my mind I think of Carrara as vein-ey and Calacatta as swirl-ly .. but take a look]
Crystal is defined by its lead content (and manufacturing process), neither of which you can tell for sure just be looking at it. If you see the mark … Waterford®, Schonbeck®, Lalique®, etc. by all means use the brand name as these are well-known and coveted by collectors. But if you don’t know .. just describe the feature without using the word “crystal” … ie. “Multi-tier candelabra chandelier with electric candlestick lighting, cascading prisms and drops”.
All wood floors are not “hardwood floors”. If you don’t know it’s a hardwood and don’t know the difference .. please don’t describe it as a hardwood floor and risk having some day to pay to have an oak floor installed. Just say “wood floor” or “wide-plank wood floor” or “wide-plank wood floor with dark espresso stain”. Here is a link as a reference of hardwoods/soft woods to help. But particularly in the South — a lot of floors are pine — and that is not a hardwood.
WOOD CABINETS, PANELING and MOLDINGS
Mahogany is expensive and if you think it might be mahogany … ask and verify.. it may be “mahogany stain”… but you’re going to end up having to buy a mahogany door. The same with all cherry-colored wood .. chances are good (particularly for cabinetry) it is NOT cherry wood and if you don’t know use a generic phrase like “cherry-stained wood cabinets” and NOT cherrywood cabinets .. BIG difference.
If you describe something as a walk-in cedar closet there is an expectation that there is REAL CEDAR WOOD in that closet and not “cedar smells”. Little cedar blocks hanging on the clothes hangers does not make it a cedar closet even if the seller calls it a cedar closet. And, I better see some cedar planks on the walls and ceiling before I’m calling it a cedar closet.
It has to be over 100 years old to be classified as an antique. If not , use a different descriptive word and avoid using “antique”.
Please always err on the side of caution when describing the features and finishes of a home — and check and verify what you are told. Document the source! If the seller tells you its Carrara marble … explain to them via email that you can only call it Carrara if it was imported from that region of Italy —- so your explanation to them is in writing … and their answer BACK TO YOU will be in writing as well. At that point you asterisk the occurrence “Carrara marble* countertops — and at the bottom of the page or in the footer * = Seller indicating the Seller is the source of information (and you have your email back-up).
So, those are some of things I’ve seen… what are some of the things you’ve seen?
Thanks for Stopping By,
Judith, The SMARTePLAN Lady
[Photos by TK IMages in Houston, Texas Tel: 713 545 9177 | firstname.lastname@example.org |http://www.tkimages.com/]
SMARTePLANS® is the premier marketing system for luxury homes featuring online easy-to-read pictographic floor plan pictorials, where the photographs launch from inside the floor plan … NOW all the photos make sense! 55% of SMARTePLANS® sold OVER list price in 2014 – so SMARTePLANS® is very effective at selling high end luxury properties. You can seamlessly click around the property, viewing the photos in relationship to the pictographic floor plan drawing. This is not a video … you choose what you want to view … or not. [TIP: Hold down your CTRL key and roll your mouse wheel to quickly zoom in and out of the drawing — no detail is too small to see!] The compilation above is the original creative work and copyrighted property of SMARTePLANS®. You may link to it; but it may not be copied, nor reproduced in any form or format in whole or in part without the express written permission of Judith Sinnard.
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