American agent speak
conditioning units have to be serviced before every season.
Another key cultural difference for Irish people is getting used to the public access to what they might consider private information. Sold prices are public as are all mortgages, loans and liens on properties. Anne Flanagan, an Irish agent working for Berkshire Hathaway New York Properties, says she finds the biggest issue for Irish people renting or buying in New York is the level of information required.
She says Irish people will want “to run for the hills” when faced with questions on an application form for a Co-op, such as what alumni networks you belong to, what foundations you support and what stocks and bonds you own. “It’s almost invasive, the lit-
American – Irish Yard – Garden Garden – Vegetable patch First floor – Ground floor Jack-and-Jill – Bathroom shared by two bedrooms Siding – Material on the side of the house Mudroom – Cloakroom Washer – Washing machine Walk-up – Attic accessed by stairs Pull-down – Attic accessed by ladder EIK – Eat-in kitchen Setbacks – Minimum distance from neighbour
Butler’s pantry/Wetbar bar –
Drinks area with wine fridge Crown molding – Cornices etc Farm house sink – Belfast sink any of questions you have to answer on some of the application forms,” Flanagan says, “but on a positive side it’s very streamlined and protective.”
In 2017 I got my real estate licence in Connecticut and listed and sold our house. The process of buying and selling a house in the US differs from that in Ireland because the buyer is represented by one real estate agent and the seller, in theory, by another. (Connecticut does allow dual agency where the same brokerage can handle both sides of the transaction.)
The seller pays the commission, which is generally split between the two agents, while the buyer pays nothing. The process is designed to protect both sides, with each having access to a professional who will represent their interests.
Today, the search for a house begins online and most properties will have a lockbox containing the key, located on the premises, which can be accessed only by licensed realtors who are members of the Multiple Listing Service. The process makes it easier to go to see houses but can make the homeowner feel more exposed.
By the time I was ready to list our own house, I had learned enough American real estate vocabulary to describe our flat back yard with its newly-installed irrigation system. I pointed out things that had once seemed utterly alien– such as the his-and-hers walk-in closets and the wet bar, the garbage disposal system and the laundry chute. I had even added a portico (otherwise known as a porch) for the kerb appeal. Clodagh McCoole is an Irishwoman and real estate agent living in Connecticut