Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage Blog

Does “Cozy” Always Mean “small” in Real Estate Listings?

Posted: October 22, 2015 by Amber Stimmel


All of the spaces above were described as “cozy” or “efficient” in their real estate descriptions. Are they “cozy”? I hope so. Are they small? Nope, not for us!

With our area settling into the autumn season, words like “cozy,” “warmth,” and “homey” become part of everyday conversation. I recently had a visitor to my home who described my den as “cozy.” I was beyond flattered, as this is just the way that I want my den to feel.

However, when she left, as I was replaying our conversation in my mind, I realized that she must have meant...small. The room was in fact not that cozy. Having just moved in, this room only had 2 couches, 1 lamp, and 1 picture above the fireplace.....soooo not cozy. Did I mention that she is a real estate agent, and that I have a long past in the real estate industry? That realization sealed the deal...she meant small.

Oftentimes when reading through real estate listings--and I do, because I love seeing houses--I notice words that are frequently used that mean one thing in real-life conversations, and another thing in listing language! Do I believe that these words are utilized to mislead buyers? No. I believe that these words are used to make the listings feel like “home” to prospective buyers.


A prime example of how the word “character” did not mean old. Was there an original lighting fixture and doorbell (which I LOVE), yes. Was there a beautifully crafted staircase? Yes. Did it mean the house was full of “old”? No.

The actual definition of cozy is “comfort, warmth, & relaxation.” I suspect that as the seasons change, even a buyer seeking 5,000 square feet will be attracted by a home that is actually “cozy.” With the holidays fast approaching, some might also seek a “charming” house. “Charming” is another word that pops up in many listing descriptions that is often associated with “old.”

I sought out a home that was both cozy and charming. Did I want a 600 square foot home built in the 1800’s? No. Did I want something that would evoke a strong sense of safety and warmth for my family? Absolutely.

There are some real estate keywords and phrases that are undeniable. “Needs TLC” is one of them. If you are wanting a brand new move-in ready home, you might shy away from this phrase. A home “needing TLC” will be just that, a home that needs some work.

After speaking with my aforementioned visitor (we laugh and speak honestly and easily), I asked her if she thought that the den was too small for a family of five and if I should take down a wall. She was flabbergasted! “No, no, no!” she said. “That room makes me want to put on my pj’s and read a good book or watch a movie with the kids. I meant that the fireplace made the room feel warm and that your paint color felt relaxing. It is the perfect room for a Christmas tree!”

So the point, my friends, is that you can’t always assume that a listing description is just trying to dupe you. Real estate agents rely strongly on their “feeling” for a space. They want you to see the potential for a home suited to your wants and needs. Find a good one, one that you trust, and don’t be scared to view the house that is deemed “cozy”. Never shy away from a house with “character.”

Their descriptions of homes are to be aids in your visualization of your life there. By all means never write-off a home based on one or two words!


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