You say “Tomāto,” I say “Tomahto”

Posted by on July 20, 2016 in Buying, Selling | 0 comments

You say “Tomāto,” I say “Tomahto”

Tomato by digitalart

You say “Tomāto,” I say “Tomahto”


You’ve probably heard the phrase, “You say tomato, I say tomato.” Besides the way words are pronounced, they can mean different things to different people. That is certainly true when it comes to a real estate transaction. Realtors use phrases in the course of business that they understand to mean one thing. Their client may take it to mean something else entirely. Here are some examples.

Clutter by Bill Longshaw1. De-clutter. To a lot of people, de-cluttering may mean moving the piles from the kitchen counter to the closet. Or, only displaying “a few” of the Precious Moments statue collection instead of the entire set. De-clutter in a Realtor’s eye means box up all unnecessary items that are taking up space in closets, on countertops, and get rid of extras that you meant to give away a year ago. Instead of a wall of photos showing the children at every age (and they are now 28 and 30), it probably means display one or two small family photos.

2. Broom clean. If a property is to be left in broom clean condition, dustpan and broom by artur84as a Buyer,
I would not start unpacking immediately upon arrival (caveat: I also wash new clothes before I wear them). Now, if you don’t care if someone else’s bread crumbs or cereal flakes are in the pantry, go ahead and put your Captain Crunch away. Personally, I would always clean or have it cleaned prior to really moving in. Yes, you will get it dirty while moving, but at least it is YOUR dirt.

camera by winnond3. Picture-ready. Have you looked at a photo taken of yourself and thought, “I wish someone would have noticed that one piece of hair sticking out”? The smallest things show up and look less desirable – or at least less perfect – when it’s in a photo. Is the dish towel hanging from the stove handle straight, or is the tag sticking out? Is the toilet seat up? Is the sheet tucked under the mattress so that the comforter fully covers it? Are there magnets on the refrigerator – even on the side? Some things can be fixed after a photo is taken, however, it is easier (and cheaper) to not have to fix them in the first place.

4. ASAP. We’ve all had it happen to us. We tell someone we need somethingPriority by Stuart Miles ASAP and we wait impatiently while the other party is probably out having dinner or at a movie, clearly not understanding the urgency of the matter. A good rule of thumb: if your Realtor or Lender tells you they need something ASAP, move mountains to get it done.


Remember, your Realtor has the same objective as you and they want to help. If you have questions as to what a term means, ask them. They should be more than happy to answer you in detail so there is no confusion. That way they won’t say “tomato” while you hear, “orange.” Orange you glad I told you this? (sorry, couldn’t resist)


Photos courtesy of digitalart, artur84, winnond, Stuart Miles, and Bill Longshaw via

About Michelle Froedge
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur baby, Tyler, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.


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