Then the other side of the coin is,
You ignore what the seller describes, and look at the car with a "what can I see" attitude. This is what you use if you have the ability to repair/replace/maintain at home. You look past the dirt, dents or mechanical faults and assess whether or not it is within your ability to revive. Salvage yard shopping is much easier this way, because you have a disinterested seller rather than the person who ran in into the ground.
It isn't the easiest thing to spot a diamond in the rough, and most of us learn by experience only. Chipping away the rough to find the diamond isn't everyone's cup of tea, and sometimes you miss a flaw that can ruin the diamond.
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72
'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis
2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel
Non illegitemae carborundum.