If the idea of buying a new home has flickered in your mind for even one brief second, you are no doubt familiar with Toronto MLS listings. Is there any better (PG) way to procrastinate than flicking through properties for sale, spotting your dream kitchen (Carrera marble!) and playing voyeur?

But when you’re ready to get serious, it’s time to look beyond the pretty pictures and start paying attention to all those words and acronyms. They tell you what you really want – and need – to know. Boring? Yes. Necessary? You bet.

Agent lingo

I can admit it: Us agents tend to be a little, shall we say, generous with our descriptions in Toronto MLS listings. “Condo alternative”? That’s a fancy way of saying “small.” (Ditto “cozy” and “cute.”) “Needs TLC” is the polite way of saying “tear down,” and “one of a kind” is probably not a good thing. (Endless exclamation marks just mean someone needs to switch to decaf.)

134Yes or no answers

If condo maintenance fees seem high, take a look at the list below. If a “Y” is showing beside hydro, water, cable or parking, it’s included; conversely, an “N” means you’ll have to pay extra. What seems like a lot at first might be a steal.

Crack the code

Don’t gloss over things just because you don’t know what they mean. Key information is often hidden in acronyms. DOM, for example, means Days on Market; sellers might be keen to make a deal on older listings. Other common ones include PC (price change) and UFFI (urea formaldehyde) – a toxic chemical sometimes used in construction. (Gee, why wouldn’t they want to spell that out?)

By the numbers

Agents also have their own math: The first number in an equation is the number of bedrooms, the second number – well, that depends. So 1+1 means one bedroom plus den. But 3+2 probably means three bedrooms plus two shitty spaces in the basement.

Confused? Want more help understanding Toronto MLS Listings? That’s what I’m here for. When you’re ready to chat, give me a call at 416-888-1844 or e-mail karyn@bosleyrealestate.com.

Test your Toronto MLS Listing Skills HERE.

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