Thursday, 24 August 2017

Tips for Writing Great Home Listing Descriptions that Sell

Written by Posted On Thursday, 16 March 2017 22:14

So you’ve been preparing to sell your home, possibly for months, or even longer. You’ve cleaned up, decluttered, depersonalized, done some staging, and taken amazing photos. All those things are VERY important when you’re selling. One thing that is neglected to be brought up with real estate agents is the listing description. When you interview agents, you should ask them if they know how to write a great listing description. In fact, you should ask them for examples of previous listing descriptions they wrote. Sometimes agents will have an assistant or someone else on their team with better writing chops write it for them. That’s fine.

If you’d rather write a listing description for your home than have your agent do it, you should go for it! These are some things that are proven to be great tips for writing excellent listing descriptions.

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typewriter writing

Be Descriptive

Make sure you’re actually providing value in your descriptions. Too many listings are filled with subjective and non-descriptive phrases like, “You’ll love making memories in this home.” Make sure you’re actually telling people about the specific features of your home. Tell people about the brick patio for BBQ’s. Don’t just mention the, “lovely outdoor space”. In fact, Zillow conducted a study and found that around 250 words is a sweet spot for listing descriptions. That’s plenty of room to tell people about all the great features of your home and neighborhood.

But Not TOO Descriptive

Buyers want to quickly find out about your home. They don’t want to read a research paper. Get right to the point. Mention the top reasons that people would want to live in your home or your neighborhood right away. When I sold my home, the walkable neighborhood was the main reason people loved living there, including myself. So that’s what I mentioned towards the top. We had a nice landscaped and fenced in yard, a major selling point for young families. So we also mentioned that towards the top of the description.

Use These Flashy Words According to Science

Zillow used their own proprietary data to discover words included in listings that sold for above asking price. According to Zillow’s data, these words are attractive to buyers:

  • luxurious
  • captivating
  • impeccable
  • stainless
  • landscaped
  • granite
  • See the full list here

Obviously, you should only use the word “stainless” if you have stainless steel appliances, and the same deal for using the word “granite”. But you can throw in words like luxurious and captivating easily!

Avoid This Stuff

There are a few words and phrases that are proven to either be neutral, not evoking any positive feelings, or just plain bad. Marketleader.com reported that there are some words that are common of homes that sell below asking price. Some of those words are:

  • Move-in ready
  • Clean
  • Motivated
  • Value
  • See more here

You might think that these words aren’t so bad. But when you think about it compared to the good words listed above, these words are just boring. They don’t evoke positive feelings. Avoid exclamation points! Especially multiple exclamation points!!! Stay away from USING ALL CAPS or WeIrd cAPitAliZAtioN. It comes across as unprofessional and spammy.

Use Brand Names

If you have appliances or features from well known brands, then mention those brand names. My wife and I installed a chandelier purchased from West Elm, a well known brand especially among women that love interior design. So we mentioned it in the description, and it was no surprise that the buyer said she was excited about the chandelier. Have an Ikea kitchen? Mention it! Did you do some upgrading with smart home technology and install a Nest thermostat? Mention it!

Don’t Repeat Yourself… and Don’t Repeat Yourself

The MLS will already have a few things listed for you such as the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, square footage, lot size, year built, and more. You don’t need to take up precious word space in your description by repeating yourself.

However, some of these features may possibly be a major selling point that you can add more description to. If the lot size is a lot bigger than most lots in the area, then you can mention that. But if it’s a pretty standard size, then don’t worry about it for the description.

Make People Use Their Imagination

You can add in just a few extra words to help people use their imagination and picture themselves enjoying your home. Instead of just saying that you have a back deck, you can say something like, “Private back deck to enjoy quiet mornings.”

I don’t know about you, but that description makes me imagine myself enjoying a cup of coffee with my iPad in hand.

Don’t try to do it too many times or for every single room, but if you have 1 or 2 features in your home that you can help people use their imagination with, then go for it.

2 Minds are greater than 1

The best home listing descriptions are written when the agent and home seller work together to write the home description.  The agent can write the descriptions based on their experience that’ll help the home sell and the home seller can help the agent in writing unique qualities about the home that the agent won’t know about.  Ask the agent to show you their description before publishing it if the agent does in fact write it.  I have heard countless times from home sellers that the description wasn’t right, etc.

The best thing to do as a seller is to compare Realtors with UpNest!

If you’re selling or buying a home, submit a FREE, no-obligation request today! We also have useful resources to review in case you have other questions relating to your upcoming sale. Submit a request on UpNest and ask agents for home listing examples prior to hiring. Good luck!

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