Selling a home requires the right type of marketing. Words play a very large role in making an impression and setting expectations. Home sellers might make great improvements, refresh the curb appeal, install new appliances, deep clean, organize, and stage their properties, all of which are good things.
Properties than are presentable to the eye and entice enough curiosity to take a personal look will certain get a lot of attention. However, visuals aren’t the only thing that causes qualified buyers to tour a home. People who are truly interested will take a very close look at every aspect of the home and take into account considerations like location, neighborhood, home and nearby amenities, recreation, shopping and dining, as well as entertainment.
Understanding the Need for a Good Real Estate Listing Description
While photographs are certainly important and do help to pique interest, they don’t tell the entire story. There’s just no way of imparting everything, or more importantly, of detailing the most important features. Even taking and publishing mounds of pictures can’t possibly answer every question. That’s what a listing description is for: to fill-in any gaps, and to do so, with an enticing style that makes a home a must-see.
“A new study by Redfin, popular online real estate portal, and the grammar experts at Grammarly, the proofreading website, found that typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are one of the top turn-offs for home hunters and buyers.” —Realty Today
The trick is to elicit that enticement by using the right language without exaggerating or embellishing, essentially fooling people into believing something that’s not really true. As the nearby quote points out, spelling and grammar are also very important. Let’s face it, if a listing description contains such errors, you’re quite likely to believe it was hastily thrown together and you’d have doubts about the home.
Most Important Parts of a Listing Description
In most multiple listing services, there’s only so much room. That makes for precious real estate, no pun intended but it does make a good point. What’s more, MLS systems generally have a details section, which is comprised of things like square footage, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and the like. If you do, you’re only repeating something that’s already available, and, wasting valuable space. Here are some more tips for writing a compelling listing description to sell for top dollar:
- Highlight the best features of the home. This bit of advice ought to be obvious, but some believe that the pictures will say it all. That’s a risky assumption, so, you ought to be highlighting any selling features. Descriptions like “gourmet kitchen,” “hardwood floors,” and “ocean view,” all say quite a bit but take-up little space.
- Include any worthwhile upgrades. Most consumers recognize the biggest and best names, and, if your home has any of these, be sure they are in the listing description. Names like Sub-Zero, Wolf, Bosch, and Viking will definitely get noticed. In addition, mentioning such features as soft-close drawers and pull-out cabinet shelves should also appear.
- Use compelling words in the description. According to research done at the University of Guelph in Canada, Paul Anglin found certain words perform very well, while others made a negative impression. For instance, the listing descriptions with the word “beautiful,” sold for 5 percent more and 15 percent faster. In addition, “landscaping,” “granite,” and “curb appeal,” also have a positive impact. Conversely, “motivated,” “good value,” “quiet,” and, “new paint,” as well as “new carpet,” have a negative impact.
- Follow a simple formula to make it flow. While you need to grab attention, you also have to make the listing description succinct. So, start with pretty, emotion inducing words, then, go into those specific selling features, followed by any upgrades and home improvements. This draws readers in, lets them know the best parts of the home, and reassures them that the owners take pride in their property and maintain it well.
Once you’ve written your listing description, go over it and check for spelling, grammar errors, and, for any language that runs afoul of the fair housing rules. Then, have at least one other person read it and ask for his or her reaction. Your goal is to make it appealing but not over-promise.