'Prepayment Privilege': Misleading Realtor-speak


According to his website, Tom Hopkins is one of the top sales gurus in the world: "His first book, How to Master the Art of Selling, has sold over 1.6 million copies and been translated into ten languages." He is known as "the builder of sales champions."

So it's fair to say that the techniques he suggests are probably employed by a good number of successful real estate agents. Here's a sample of his "advice" for real estate agents looking to increase sales, from his book Mastering the Art of Selling Real Estate:

"If there is a charge to refinance the property prior to the maturity date, don't call it the prepayment penalty. Who wants to be penalized? No one. Call it the prepayment privilege."

I understand the it's the real estate agent's job to put his best foot forward but, to me, that language is incredibly misleading. The truth is that everyone who buys a house has the privilege of prepaying; a prepayment penalty just adds a special cost for doing so. This tricky euphemism has no basis in reality.