Sell Your Home With Words

Written by Posted On Thursday, 24 April 2014 06:21

What is written about a home that's for sale may have a positive impact on its sale price. I've written many times about how professional videos and photos can help sell your home faster and possibly for more money but we can't forget the power of the written word.

A new study reports that the words used in listings can help increase the sale price of the home. On average, each property characteristic mentioned in a listing increased the sale price by just under 1% and the probability of selling the home by 9.2%, according to the study conducted by Bennie Waller, professor of finance and real estates at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

The study found listings that provided detailed information about amenities and features such as granite countertops and wood-burning fireplaces, sell for more money. Of course, if it's stated the home must, indeed, have these features. The study didn't include standard features, just the premium ones. A listing with 15 additional property characteristics can sell for about 13.5% more.

While certain words such as "fabulous" and "beautiful" may seem over-used in the real estate industry, there is a reason for their popularity. They work. The positive opinion words used to describe the features influence buyers to want to see more.

Mentioning these positive subjective words bumped up the sale price by 0.9%. The study reports that, on average, using just 10 positive adjectives can help send the price up by 9%. It would seem it's a case of telling your buyers what you want them to see and experience before they've even set foot in the home. Couple the powerful, positive descriptive words with excellent supportive pictures and videos and you have several compelling reasons for buyers to come tour your home.

As it goes with all advertising, telling a story, painting a picture of how the home will benefit and appeal to buyers is very powerful. Also, not telling the full story is important. Too many details will leave no reason for buyers or their agents to call and ask questions.

The goal is to start a conversation about the home. That helps get buyers in the door to experience your home. Once they are there, they can begin to absorb the written words in a physical way rather than just having a perception that's imagined from creative writing. They'll make their decision to buy and how much to pay, based on seeing the real thing but the written words help them decide which home to see.

Keeping the description short comes from the same school of thinking that is the founding principle for how newspaper writers and TV journalists write their copy. You have limited time and print space to grab their attention. So, once you do have it, get to the point quickly with all the juicy details.

Remember that in this highly digital era of texting, tweeting 140 characters, quick 10-15 second interviews on TV, radio, and in social media, people have less attention, time, and interest. Too many words may deter buyers rather than intrigue them.

So, when it comes time to sell, think of your home's features and how you'd describe them to your dear friend. Your agent and you can then determine which words evoke the most positive emotion and paint the best picture of your home. And, oh, yes, do have professional photos and videos to accompany the beautiful vernacular you use in the listing.

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website:

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or Visit for more information.

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