(Source: New York Times)

THE language of real estate advertising copy in New York is beyond parody: how can you make fun of something that already reads like a satire of itself? Are there really thousands of buildings that can fairly call themselves “one of the most desired co-ops on the Upper East Side”?

Has almost every broker in town really produced “nearly $1 billion in sales throughout his illustrious career working at one of Manhattan’s premier residential brokerage firms and specializing in the sales of some of Manhattan’s most prestigious and highly coveted addresses”?

Still, who among us can resist a good real-estate ad? And who hasn’t had a laugh reading a clumsy attempt to make the uninhabitable sound irresistible? The very plasticity of the form may be why the writers of so many listings fail.

It’s as if the less adroit in the business had reasoned that all hyperbole sounds the same, so why not just take a nap and let your computer write the thing?

There exists, however, a significant portion of New York real estate professionals who hold that while it is easy to write in shelter-speak, it is difficult to do it well. They can’t say exactly what makes a successful ad — but they know it when they see it. And for a lot of those people, Valerie Haboush is the hired gun they depend on to write theirs. 

Read Eric Konigsberg’s full bio “The Poet of Property” in the New York Times (May 22, 2009).

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