Puffing : Tactful or Tasteless Chicago real estate?

Posted by Ted Guarnero admin on Monday, August 31st, 2009 at 2:20pm.

Puffing: Tactful or Tasteless Chicago Real estate ?

Sure, my opinion of what’s lovely, cozy, elegant, glamorous, cutting-edge, an incredible view, may differ from yours, but I think it’s safe to assume that the divergence wouldn’t be too terribly great. I mean, we can agree that the Trump Tower is luxurious, that the John Hancock offers some great views and that Old Town is a charming neighborhood. Can’t we? Well, if we can’t agree on those fairly objective statements, surely we wouldn’t fall on opposite ends of the spectrum. You wouldn’t say, for instance, that the Trump Tower is shoddy, that the Hancock has awful views or that Old Town is a repulsive area in which to live.

Of course, if you’ve got a less than fantastic listing, say a run-down condo on the back of a building with a view of a brick wall in a commercial / industrial area, there might be some need to exaggerate its, eh hem, finer points. Maybe you’ll mention its great location because, since nobody wants to live in the area, there is limited congestion, easy street parking, serenity, etc. But, at what point, I wonder, does puffing go from being artful persuasion to flat out insulting to the intelligence of a prospective buyer? And, at what point does the insulting aspect make the buyer think the listing agent is out of his mind, can’t be relied upon and is not someone the buyer is willing to work with?

Give me your opinion on this scenario; I was showing my buyer a listing at Randolph Place at 165 N. Canal. Steps outside the apartment, let’s say no more than a couple dozen feet, there were several crisscrossed tracks used by Metra, as well as El tracks above. The sound in the apartment when a train rolled by was grating; windows rumbled, conversations paused, nerves were jarred and annoyance levels increased. The listing agent, in an attempt to dismiss what was impossible to ignore, puffed just a little and said, “Oh, what you hear is white noise. It’s only a matter of time before you get used to it. Actually, it sounds like the ocean.” I don’t know about you, but in my opinion, rumbling trains would be difficult to confuse with lapping ocean waves. If, however, the noise could be gotten over, what about the idling trains puffing (no pun intended) out clouds of black pollution and the smell of diesel that penetrated the air? Surely diesel could never be confused with the smell of salt water and ocean air. Or could it? Just how far can puffing be stretched before it lands in the realm of preposterous? And, once considered preposterous, what sort of impact does this have on the potential sale of a listing? Tell me, what do you think?


Ted Guarnero, REALTOR® is a full-time real estate agent with over 1000 homes sold and $400 million in sales.  Working with Compass real estate offering professional and effective real estate services to help you succeed in the local real estate market. Visit www.seeChicagorealestate.com for information on downtown Chicago real estate and to get in touch with an expert in the Chicago real estate market. Before you hire your next Realtor call Ted Guarnero 855-See-Chicago, it's on the House !


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