Reading Time: 2 minutes

“I know how easy it is for one to stay well within moral, ethical, and legal bounds through the skillful use of words – and to thereby spin, sidestep, circumvent, or bend a truth completely out of shape. To that extent, we are all liars on numerous occasions.” ~ Sidney Poitier

An ethical Realtor is careful not to spin something into an untruth. And a successful Realtor is circumspect about exaggeration, obfuscation and salesmanship.

For example, you know you’re being sold in a less-than-subtle way when an agent makes a fuss about the Golden Gate Bridge view and then leads you to the 3rd bedroom where, if you stand on a stepstool, you can spy the top of the north tower. Smart buyers shy away from such hucksterism.

With the artful use of language, you can turn lemons into lemonade for marketing purposes. It’s imperative when you’re representing a seller’s best interests. For example, if a house doesn’t have a garage the clever listing agent will emphasize the location’s walkability and proximity to public transportation.

But when it comes right down to it, a property either HAS a garage or HASN’T got a garage. Some buyers will be okay with that. Some buyers won’t like it. End of story.

Attempting to spin buyer objections into positives is a futile pursuit. Except when it’s a trivial pursuit among a group of agent friends. I recently played a game of “inane buyer-objection spinning” with a few colleagues and here are some of the objections and spins we came up with:

1. View of rooftop equipment? At night it disappears!
2. No dishwasher and yes kids? Dishwashing builds children’s character!
3. Don’t know / can’t determine a property’s legal status? You decide!
4. House needs everything? Unlimited potential!
5. Block lined with homeless tents? Witness real human suffering every time you enter or exit your home; perhaps you will be moved to try and do something about it!
6. Drug deals going down on the corner? Lucky you with such convenient choices – whether it’s Philz coffee, legal marijuana or meth!
7. Downstairs neighbors are super noise sensitive? Make walking meditation part of your daily practices!
8. Electrical panel and gas shutoff located outside your house? Not great in case of Rain, but super convenient in case of Earthquake!
9. Hole in the roof? Ah, the natural light and air, and you can easily add a skylight!
10. No closets or storage? Minimalism made easy!
11. Five flights of stairs to your condo? Make full use of delivery apps OR whip yourself into amazing physical condition!
12. Backyard or patio faces a large wall? Now’s your chance to have that trompe- l’œil feature you always wanted!
13. You have littles but the house is on a busy street? No time like the present to teach self-awareness and safety!
14. No dogs allowed? You did say you’ve always wanted to volunteer at SF SPCA!

Send me YOUR real estate spin ideas and I’ll compile a Round II for a future edition of Real Estate Therapy.

Author and RealEstateTherapy curator Cynthia Cummins has been devoted to homeowners and homebuyers for three decades and counting. Visit for more information on San Francisco real estate.