Of all the clichés to endure over time, few have more staying power than the suggestion that estate agents are economical with the truth.
For years, the profession has carried a less than stellar reputation, with certain buzzwords meaning different things in ‘estate agent speak’ and in regular conversation.
As an example, you want to avoid anywhere described with the words ‘cosy’ or ‘compact’ – that generally means it’s tiny and you’ll find yourself bumping your head on the walls.
And when you see places like this described as a ‘studio flat’, maybe it is time to take stock of the ads you see online.
There’s some good news, though. You can now avoid all of those code-words without having to do any of the decoding work yourself.
It’s all down to an extension called ‘Shitemove’, which works in your web browser and automatically translates estate agent speak into what it really means.
In a world where it can be cheaper to commute to London from Madrid than from Camden, you’re going to want to know what you’re paying for, so you can see where this sort of idea can come from.
Shitemove works on Chrome and Firefox, and its default setting translates listings on UK property sites including Foxtons, Rightmove, Zoopla.
It is the work of Liam Butler, who has created a bunch of other theoretically useless but actually pretty diverting online tools, and the image below gives you a feel for the sort of changes it makes.
Now, it’s clear to see that’s not exactly a faithful replication of the original ad.
As explained on the Shitemove site, ‘When on a property listing it will take words such as ‘stunning’ and ‘stylish’ and replace them with words like ‘passable’ and ‘tacky’.’
Yeah, you get the picture.