Beware of spelling mistakes in home listings

By Diana Dietz | March 17, 2014 | 2 min. read

451600115Homebuyers are less likely to tour a home if its online listing contains misspellings or improper grammar, according to a new poll by Redfin and Grammarly.

Of the nearly 1,300 people surveyed via social media channels, 43.4 percent of respondents said spelling and grammar mistakes would lower their desire to view a home.

“A home listing filled with misspellings or grammar errors sends a signal to potential buyers that details are not important,” said Allison VanNest director of communications at Grammarly, in a statement.

In addition to spelling and grammar issues, the majority of respondents said they prefer a shorter home description of about 50 words. Shorter descriptions can have a bigger impact. Redfin also reported that listings of that size on their platform tended to sell in under 90 days and for higher than list price.

Survey respondents said photos were more important than a home’s description, however, 87 percent also said the description is either “extremely” or “very important.”

Redfin offered a few examples within listings that could be a red flag to buyers:

  • This is a real germ!
  • Open trough Friday
  • Curve appeal
  • Master bedroom with walking closet
  • Fresh pain and carpet

Forgotten punctuation. Just forgetting one comma can drastically change the meaning of a sentence. “New construction won’t last” is different from the writer’s intended meaning: “New construction, won’t last.”

Writing in all caps and overusing exclamation points. All-caps listings are hard to read, and are often accompanied by overuse of exclamation points.

Too many abbreviations. Overuse of abbreviations in the MLS could leave some homebuyers confused. For example: “Spcs hm w/ EF, lg. FLR and FDR.” (Spacious home with entrance foyer, large formal living room and formal dining room.)

Sellers should review their listing with their agent before it is posted online to spot any errors. Taking a few extra minutes to review a listing could result in a better sale.

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