With the ever-increasing ubiquity of online real estate listings, you only have seconds to make an impression on a homebuyer. Consider this: a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that 97% of buyers used the internet to find a home. Many people shop for homes before they line up an agent, and serious buyers aren’t just browsing photos, but the real estate descriptions as well. Are you ready to craft attractive, distinctive listing descriptions that sell? You only have about 250 words, so here’s how to make them count!
1. Consider Your Audience
Realtor® Greg Hawkins with Silvercreek Realty Group says one of his top tips on making a lasting impression is to take a second and put yourself in the shoes of a buyer. He says, “Always start with an end in mind. Ask yourself, ‘What do I want my audience to see and feel when they read it?’
“A great listing description should give the potential buyer a quick visualization of what living in the home could be like. It is an opportunity to call out the home’s very best features and descriptively link them to the benefits for the buyer.”
2. Paint Word Pictures
Descriptive words and phrases are a must in the best listings. Remember that listings usually have the amenities, appliances, and the number of rooms to accompany your text. Let your listing expand on special features—show, don’t tell. Here are some examples to get the creative juices flowing:
- Instead of writing “has a backyard,” say “features a fenced-in yard with a woven wooden privacy screen that extends over the full-sized patio”.
- Instead of writing “walk-in closet,” say “spacious walk-in closet with LED lighting along the cabinets and a full-length vanity mirror”.
- Instead of writing “has a fireplace,” say “Curl up and enjoy the fireplace on a chilly evening”.
- Instead of writing, “The kitchen has updated appliances, countertops, and lighting,” say, “The remodeled 1990s kitchen features an Energy Star range oven and refrigerator, white granite countertops, and ambient lighting”.
If you’re struggling to describe your home, speak with your agent.
3. Understand the Top Features People Want
Another strategy that can help your writing flow is to spend time studying the features people want in your area. According to Hawkins, popular trends in the 2021 housing market include:
- An extra bedroom to accommodate a better home workspace or office with the rise of remote work
- A larger, more open kitchen for more counter space
- Master baths with dual sinks, along with a separate tub and shower
- A yard with a fence for pet owners
Once you have an idea of the top features people are willing to pay for, make a point to highlight them, brainstorm the benefits they provide and include the final product in the listing description.
4. Emphasize the Location
Sometimes a home lacks competitive features, especially if it’s older. Use your 250 words to point out the proximity to a desired location, such as popular tourist destinations, shopping, transportation, and more. If you live in a major metro, make sure people know the exclusivity of owning property there.
5. Collaborate With Your Agent
If you need help with the listing, ask your agent for his or her expertise. You can ask about effective syntax, style, titles, and organization. Bring up features that you like the most and elaborate on them. The discussion may make it easier to sell your home.
The Bottom Line
Crafting a creative real estate listing description is never easy, but with some patience and research on what’s hot in your market, you can begin your draft. You can write the description yourself, and ask your agent to proofread and add feedback. Remember, every home will have features that stand out, but if you can eloquently describe your home’s best qualities, buyers will flock to your listing.
Once you’ve written your description, proofread it for clarity, conciseness, and grammar. Read it out loud and if something sounds off, fix it. Writing and re-writing are both equally important processes, so expect it to take some time to sound just right.