Strahm Sells!: When in Doubt, Just Make Up Words!

When in Doubt, Just Make Up Words!

When in Doubt, Just Make Up Words!

At least that's what I thought when I saw this in a real estate listing:

"Owner in Process of Removing Adondance of Personal Property."

Adondance?  Adondance??  I had to read that sentence three times before I finally figured out what the agent was trying to say.

Now the only thing "Adondance" brought to mind for me was a family event where my father-in-law, Don, inadvertently started dirty dancing with his step daughter and her friend.  Talk about A Don Dance!  But that's just me.  And no amount of brain bleach is going to erase that memory!  Try as I might.

All kidding aside, here's my point today.  As an agent, your public face is most often seen in your listings.  And if those listings contain misspellings or grammatical mistakes, past, current and prospective clients may get a perception of you that is not one you want them to have!

Any spell checker would have picked up on "adondance" because it's not a word.  Now I'll admit I tried running it through Word and a few others -- no one corrected it with the right word because those electronic marvels, like me, couldn't figure out what the heck it was!  But if your spell checker doesn't even recognize the word, it's time for you to either use another word, or ask someone for help!

As consumers, when interviewing agents, ask to see print-outs of past and current listings.  What you see is what you're going to get.  An agent with good writing skills is most probably going to be the one who showcases your home in marketing and advertising pieces well.  Like it or not, what someone else writes about your home is going to reflect on you!

There is an abundance of agents out there.  Please pick one that doesn't just make up words!


Richard Strahm is an award winning Realtor specializing in the North Penn areas of Montgomery County -- Lansdale, Upper Gwynedd, North Wales, Towamencin, Hatfield -- and beyond!  Visit him at or call today at 215-853-2624 for a free and private consultation about all of your real estate needs.


 Richard Strahm is an award winning Realtor specializing in the North Penn areas of Montgomery County -- Lansdale, Upper Gwynedd, North Wales, Towamencin, Hatfield -- and beyond!  Visit him at or call today at 215-853-2624 for a free and private consultation about all of your real estate needs.
Richard Strahm
Broker / Owner
American Foursquare Realty - Lansdale, PA

415 North Broad Street
Lansdale, PA 19446

Direct: (215) 853-2624
Office: (215) 647-0700
Fax: (215) 529-8931


PA Lic # RM423982

Copyright © 2010-2018 Richard Strahm.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Comment balloon 38 commentsRichard Strahm • November 26 2011 07:37AM


Richard - I agree, but I do sometimes make up words when conversing with friends!  It's kind of annoying that we have become so accustomed to spell check, and then it's not available in our MLS input area...

Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) almost 9 years ago

Alright, Richard, that was too funny.   And the imagine of your father-in-law is priceless, if not a little scary.  Thanks for the chuckle, and the message is well taken.  Suggested.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) almost 9 years ago

  I DO make up words...guilty as charged....Curbalicious is my favorite.....!  That doesn't make me alllll bad...happiest of holidays.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) almost 9 years ago

Carol - Made up words DO have their place -- but this was not one of them.  I know some MLS engines do not have spell check.  But it's so easy to cut, past into Word or another editor, spell check, then paste back!

Mike - Thank you!

Sally & David - Now THOSE kind of made up words I LOVE!  Curbalicious -- genius!  I'm going to have to start using that one!

Posted by Richard Strahm, Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate (American Foursquare Realty) almost 9 years ago

Richard: Isn't is just amazing? Gwen Banta here on AR has devoted her entire blog to these type of 'bloopers'.  Sometimes I just can't believe that some realtors made it out of 2nd grade.

Thanks for the laugh.  Abondance = Hoarder?

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 9 years ago

I'll admit when I see anything that has a misspelled word (not simply a typo...though those are avoidable as well), I develop a first impression about the person...and it isn't a favorable one. 

Posted by Ken Brandon, Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, NC (Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage (Jacksonville, NC)) almost 9 years ago
It's amazing how often this occurs! What is also funny to me is that running a spell check always results in the red line underneath "Benicia.". This is the town that we live in and it IS spelled correctly
Posted by Mark Delgado, Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h (houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove) almost 9 years ago

First off, welcome home you are staying away, way too long.  This is like Lady Gaga singing made up words, la la ba, ba ba.  Nonsense, and once again let me rant and rave about lazy sloppy agents, well at least it makes the good ones look stellar.

Posted by Liz Wallace, Broker C21 Sherlock Homes, Rockville Centre, LI, N (Century 21 Sherlock Homes) almost 9 years ago

I make up words too but I know they are made up. I lived on Webster Ave for 14 years and loved it. As I made up words I would say they were part of MY 'Webster' dictionary.

Posted by Shar Sitter, Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M (Rooms With Style) almost 9 years ago

Hi Richard, this is too funny. But maybe it wasn't his/her fault. It could have been a typo by office staff. I know this has occurred in my office where it was given to staff with no errors and then shows up in the mls with typos.

Posted by Sandy Acevedo, RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale (951-290-8588) almost 9 years ago

BA in English here. 

Just think, that's the compeititon. Someone is trusting the largest transaction of their life to someone who can't be trusted with spell check. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) almost 9 years ago

Too funny! We all do make our spelling errors from time to time, even with spell check, but that is certainly a good one. It never ceases to amaze me what i see in listings though. Spelling sometimes is the least offense. LOL

Posted by Janis Borgueta, LIC RE Salesperson (Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ) almost 9 years ago

Funny thing is that I understand what this agent is trying to say. . after all, that was the intended purpose.

Posted by Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group, 301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA (Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001) almost 9 years ago

Lyn - I think you hit the nail on the head regarding hoarder!
Ken - I think we all make those kind of snap judgments!
Mark - Both Microsoft word and Google recognize Benicia as being correct.  Those other spell checkers are inferior!
Liz - I've missed being here!  And now I'm thinking - what if Lady Gaga wrote real estate ads?
I want your ugly
I want your disease
I want your everything
As long as it's free
I want your love
 Hmmm, maybe she IS writing about real estate!
Shar - I'd love to see your Webster dictionary!
Sandy - It could have been an office worker mistake -- BUT, we're ultimately responsible for what gets done for us by others! 
J. Philip - I agree - too many sellers trust their home sale without doing enough checking, first!
Phil - Ah, if only there were fewder!
Janis - I agree.  Spelling counts, but content is king.  And some of the contenet I see is less than royal!
Fernando - you're quicker than me -- I had no idea at first what he was trying to say!
Dale - I agree.  But this one has been hanging around since first listed!

Posted by Richard Strahm, Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate (American Foursquare Realty) almost 9 years ago


I agree.  Spell check is as easy as pressing a button.  If an agent doesn't know how to use spell check...hmmmm, that's an issue too!

Posted by Cindy Edwards, CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677 (RE/MAX Checkmate) almost 9 years ago

As a homeschool mom - it never ceases to amaze me and when I (because I am click happy - or so I have been told!) see my own posts with misspelled/careless word errors (more like no "e" on the end of home, etc.) I cringe.  Thanks for your post, I hope it encourages someone.  (almost typed "you rpost.") 


Posted by Joy Daniels (Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd.) almost 9 years ago

I might make up a word to be funny but never in something having to do with marketing a property.  At least you know the competition isn't too bright.

Posted by Bryan Robertson almost 9 years ago


You've said it! Poor grammar and spelling just spanks of laziness. I don't see grammar check very often but the least anyone can do is spell check. Typos? Forgivable. Words that don't even exist, deplorable. (I just "spell checked" deplorable!!). :)

Posted by Valerie Duncan Stewart, Real Estate Agent-Broker, OKC, OK ((Metro First Realty)) almost 9 years ago

Always best to write your MLS descriptions in a word document, and then cut and paste. Our MLS certainly doesn't have a spell-checker. My other insurance is to send a copy of the MLS to the client. They're sure to spot any thing that isn't accurate. (Hopefully we've got the spelling right though!)

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 9 years ago

At least that was a big word. My personal pet peeve "Come sale this house".  OMG if you don't know when to use sell and sale, you need to go back to the 3rd grade and start all over again. 

Posted by Jeanne Gregory (RE/MAX Southwest) almost 9 years ago

A personal pet peeve of mine as well, Richard. How can agents come across as professionals when they can't even edit their own writing! Thanks for the post!

Posted by George Lawson almost 9 years ago

Richard, I agree! Spelling and grammar mistakes don't make a very good first impression.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 9 years ago

This is why I always run everything through spellcheck before I post it! Well everything but comments! I probably should those too but wow that would be alot of work!

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) almost 9 years ago

Hi Richard. Spelling mistakes are left behind all to often but we need to be careful of depending on spell checkers, too. They will pick the wrong "correction" more regularly than we might expect. Leaving the wrong "correction" in place could change the meaning of the sentence to something rather undesirable...

A few minutes of proof-reading will make a huge difference! 


Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) almost 9 years ago


This happens a lot. And, it is rather surprising that frequently no one catches the mistake.


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) almost 9 years ago

Hi Richard, looks like we have another less than professional agent here, eh? I make up words with my kids all the time, but I don't take them to work.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) almost 9 years ago

Richard -- spell check was a GREAT invention. I wish people would use it more often!

Posted by Donald Reich (Prudential Centennial) almost 9 years ago

Richard, I always put my MLS remarks on here before I put them on the MLS,  That way I can do the spell checker and just like you said, I copy and paste it.  Good advise.

Posted by Steve Warrene, Pittsburgh Real Estate Investment Specialists (Your Town Realty) almost 9 years ago

I have made up a few words to fit specific sentences - most have. Websterical.....

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

I have always been amazed in the typos many real estate agents have in the listings on the multiple listing service.  It just shows what kind of agent you are going to be dealing with if your client makes an offer on their property.  Certainly not one who is careful with details.

Posted by Maureen Megowan, Palos Verdes Real Estate Blog (Remax Estate Properties - ) almost 9 years ago

This is one of my pet peeves, too, so I know just how you feel.  I'm amazed by the number of typos and misspellings I find in listings on the MLS... almost daily!  Some listings have 3+ and some are hilarious -- unless you're the seller.  One of the more common ones I see in my area is "walking closet".  Another I've been seeing more & more often is "remolded" instead of "remodeled".  Yikes!

Posted by S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL, Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist (United Realty Group, Inc.) almost 9 years ago


The listing agent is losing out on buyers who read the ad and refuse to visit the house.  The ad makes the home seem very unappealing.  What was the agent thinking?  We are suppose to paint a picture of the home so that someone might actually want to see it.  That agent missed the boat completely.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) almost 9 years ago

You never know, the seller may have picked this agent because they liked his/her stile.

Posted by Jerry Morse, BBA,GRI (The Morse Company) almost 9 years ago

BAHAhahahahahAHHA! (That is NOT a made up word) I laughed OUT LOUD at Phil's (#12) answer!! Can't top that!

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (101 Main St. Realty) almost 9 years ago

Just a question but in the paragraph starting with spell checker.  Because and either are mispelled.

Posted by Elite Home Sales Team, A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team (Elite Home Sales Team OC) almost 9 years ago

Mark and Tim of Elite Home Sales (#40).  How right you are.  I dropped a letter in because and spell check allowed my ether that should have been either.  Both you and I prove my point that errors can make us look dumb.  As did mine.

And, inadvertently, yours!  You misspelled the word misspell!

Posted by Richard Strahm, Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate (American Foursquare Realty) almost 9 years ago

Hi Richard,

Like Joni, I also like #12's response and the exchange between you and #40 (Mark and Tim) is pretty comical too.


Posted by The Scott Loper Team Bux-Mont Premier Properties (Keller Williams Real Estate - Montgomeryville) almost 9 years ago

Richard, I was laughing out loud when I read about your father-in-law! He sounds like a good sport...if not a good dancer! LOL Btw, what was the agent trying to say when he wrote "adondance"? I can't figure out what he meant!

Posted by Nina Rogoff, Sells Real Estate! (RE/MAX Executive Realty) almost 9 years ago