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What makes a home listing stand out?

by McQuilkin, Kathleen on

Individuals who are selling a home typically place a great deal of emphasis on the home listing. The details included are instrumental in attracting potential buyers and afford owners the opportunity to paint their home in the best possible light.

The right description can get a home a second look; however, there are a few details that can be the deciding factor in a drab listing or one that makes buyers excited about contacting a Realtor®.

Channeling creativity when writing property listings may pay off. Research from a recent Wall Street Journal study suggests more property characteristics mentioned in a listing can boost the property’s sale price and speed of sale.

The study examined property listings’ details, excluding common features like number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and found that descriptions such as “granite countertops” and “wood-burning fireplaces” had a slight impact on the sale price. Descriptions with positive connotations such as “beautiful” or “fabulous” also helped increase sale prices.

This is especially true when it comes to highlighting amenities that are coveted by home seekers. For example, rather than explaining that the kitchen was recently renovated, detail the new granite countertops, or hardwood floor that was recently put in. This can give buyers a more accurate picture of what they will be walking into when they arrive at the showing.

Despite the positive impact that may come from adding more detail, don’t go overboard since there is a limited window of time to capture a potential buyer’s attention. Creativity and brevity is the way to go.

Here are a few additional tips to make a listing stand out:

  • Give a tour. Don’t repeat the boxes checked off on the MLS. Meaning, describe the property without repeating “3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage.” Talk about the house as if you are walking through the front door, going room to room.
  • Write the home’s story. The true value of a home is the memories and emotional tie that a homeowner develops over time. While it is important to give an accurate description of the home in terms of square footage and number of rooms, it is also important to showcase the personality of the home. Research the home’s personal history, and/or the history of the neighborhood to create a fun, descriptive story line for the home, allowing potential homebuyers insight into why this home should make the list of properties they’d like to see.
  • Include details that are not apparent from photos. There may be several features, amenities and benefits of a home that sellers cannot include in pictures. In many cases, these details get left out altogether. Optimize the space by taking pictures of the most appealing areas of the home and including details of other areas in the actual text. For example, if the property has a private driveway or easy access to downtown amenities, these should be included in the listing.

What is your best tip for making your listing description stand out?


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