Buying Advice

Acronyms R Us!

Featured home: 15-954 Paradise Ala Kai Dr. Keaau, HI 96749

At times, a handy abbreviation index would be helpful. Most classified line ads are difficult to understand. Try this one: 

3br/2ba, P&P home,
quiet HPP C-D-S.
Spac grt rm, grmet kit,
great dk, even a/c, and FP!

The purpose of any real estate advertisement is to make the phone ring. Hmmm… fat chance of that! Even if it does, research has shown that buyer motivation will be to eliminate the property, not make an appointment. Consider the translation: 

“Three-bedroom, 2 bath home, quiet Hawaiian Paradise Park cul-de-sac. Spacious great room, gourmet kitchen, great deck, even an air conditioner, and fireplace.”

Easier, slightly more appealing, but it still doesn’t move the buyer into the home. Trouble is, the cost of effective print ads can quickly consume even the most generous marketing budget. Additionally, property ads with photos net far superior results. Buyers who call about an ad with a photo (or off a sign), do so because they see something they like. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to avoid the use of abbreviations and acronyms in real estate print ads. 

Here’s more to add to your handy reference guide: 

  • FSBO (fi ss-bow) is a for-sale-by-owner. 
  • MLS is of course, the Multiple Listing Service.
  • CMA is a comparative market analysis.
  • “VW” is not a cute little car, it’s an abbreviation for view.
  • SF relates to square footage.
  • HDWD indicates a home with hardwood floors. 

Then there are required notations such as our license designations; an agent with a broker’s license who is also a member of NAR (National Association of REALTORS®) wears an “R” after their name. A “RA” or “S” is a licensee who is a member of NAR but doesn’t have a broker’s license. “CRS”, considered the PhD of residential real estate, indicates an agent with a Certified Residential Specialist designation. GRI is a Graduate REALTOR® Institute, and an ABR is an Accredited Buyer’s Representative. Agents with designations are more likely to value education that will benefit those they represent. 

Consider again our sample property. Even without the photo, it’s easy to see how rich text can make all the difference: 

“You’ll yearn for rainy days to snuggle by the amazing fireplace that graces the spacious great room of this immaculate 3 bedroom, 2 bath Hawaiian Paradise Park home. The oversized deck is the perfect place to enjoy ocean breezes, sunny days and family celebrations. Add the kind of gourmet kitchen normally reserved for prestige properties and you’ll see how easy it is to fall in love with this special property.” 

Paints a very different picture, wouldn’t you say? To stay in tune with what’s really happening with local real estate, visit here often. We have complete and unabridged descriptions of the home of your dreams along with enough photos to allow a decision about making that all-important call to your real estate agent! 

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

Comments (0) Show CommentsHide Comments (Remember)

Cool. Add your comment...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave your opinion here. Please be nice. Your Email address will be kept private, this form is secure and we never spam you.

More Articles from Hawaii Life