Writing Compelling Real Estate Copy
The only way people are going to know about how amazing your house is is if you tell them. They won’t know how many awesome BBQ dinners they can have out on the back deck, how relaxing the bathtub in the master suite is, how close you are to some great schools or how they can make all of their culinary dreams come true in the extraordinary kitchen unless you tell them.
Writing an informative, honest and compelling listing is one of the most important aspects of selling a home. You could hire someone else to do it, like a real estate agent, but they don’t know and love the home like you do.
Only someone who has truly lived in the home can describe it to someone else in a way that will really help him or her see why it is such a great house.
But before you complain that you’re not Shakespeare, or that you’re not good with words, take a minute to see how easy it is to create a listing for your home that will have buyers lined up around the block to buy their dream home.
Focus on Your Headline
Potential buyers are spending hours looking at online listings, and after a while, they all start to sound the same. The best way to make your listing stand out is by creating a catchy headline that grabs their attention. Instead of the typical 3BR/2Ba Home On Mitchell Street (boring!), you could try something like “Rub A Dub Have You SEEN this bath tub?!”
Even if a bathtub is not high on their list of features they want in a home, they’ll want to click on the link because the headline is intriguing and makes them want to know more.
If you’re drawing a blank, check out a few magazine covers for creative ways to catch the attention of the readers. You only get one shot to make a good first impression, so put some effort and thought into your headline! Knowing how to write a great real estate listing ad is an important part of home marketing that should not be over looked. Lots of people assume that photo’s are super important – And they are but don’t under estimate the importance of your words.
Don’t Sound Desperate
If your listing makes it sound like you’d basically pawn the home off to the first person who shows interest, potential buyers will wonder what is wrong with the property and why you want to get rid of it so fast. Words like “must sell, motivated seller, vacant, and as-is” give off a pushy vibe that doesn’t suit a lot of buyers.
Even if you are in a rush, create an honest and compelling listing and hopefully, your home will sell quickly.
Use power words such as “gourmet” for the kitchen and “curb appeal” for the front yard. Focus on the positives and be honest, and your listing will bring the buyers to you. Don’t give off the impression that you’re in a rush to sell the home; if people feel rushed by your listing, they may worry that you’ll rush them to jump into making a big decision. This blog talks more about how long it usually takes to sell a home.
Channel your inner college student and check and re-check your listing for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Make sure your listing makes sense, is easy to read, and doesn’t have any missing words. Focus on making sure your listing sounds smooth, starting with the catchy headline, followed by a general description of the house (Come check out this gorgeous 2BR/2Ba ranch style home with updated kitchen and huge yard!) and then describe the home in detail.
Some sellers describe the home as if they are walking through it (One step through the heavy oak door and you’re in a beautiful front foyer with high ceilings and imported tile floors) Other sellers describe the home starting with the common areas, then moving to the bedrooms, and finally to the exterior. However you decide to structure the listing, stay consistent and don’t jump back and forth between rooms/features.
Buying a home is an extremely personal decision, and when looking for a new home, people want to be able to envision what it would be like to start a life in the home they are reading about. Think about why each room/feature is special to you and convey that through your listing. Instead of “large kitchen” you could say, “A spacious, recently updated kitchen provides plenty of room to create delicious meals for the family, and the double sinks and whisper quiet dishwasher make clean up a breeze.
The extended snack bars create a casual and comfortable hang out spot in between the living room and the kitchen.” With this description, the potential buyer can really feel what it would be like to cook, eat and clean up in this kitchen, something they will probably do every night.
Explain how the location of the office makes it one of the quietest places in the house, or how the big backyard is great for BBQs and pool parties. Take every opportunity to remind buyers that they aren’t just buying four walls and a roof, that they’re investing in a place to enjoy their lives as a family.
Word Choice, Word Choice, Word Choice
There are hundreds of online resources that can help you pick the right words for your listing. Here are some examples of words that you might typically use to describe a feature, and an alternative that makes it sound more appealing
- Instead of small, use cozy or quaint
- Instead of old, use traditional, classic, rustic or antique
- Instead of basement, try “lower level”
- Instead of “in the middle of nowhere,” try private, secluded or tucked away
Every home has something that owners worry might turn buyers away, but there are always ways to get around them and word them in a way that is honest, yet puts a positive spin on it. If there is something less than desirable about the property, either fix it, or frame your listing in a way that focuses on the potential of the room/feature.
Instead of mentioning that the master bedroom needs to be repainted, either A) repaint it or B) try saying something like “original paint in the master suite serves as an excellent blank canvas to transform the room into a quiet retreat of your dreams”
You don’t have to be a wordsmith to create a fresh, interesting and compelling property listing that makes people want to know more. You just have to love the space you’re selling and convey that to the reader.
Highlight the positives; focus on the potential of the negatives, stay organized and put thought into the words you choose. Seek advice from friends and family and have them proofread your description before you post it. If you can convey what you love about the house, potential buyers will fall in love with it as well.
About the author: Kaya Wittenburg is the founder and CEO of Sky Five Properties. With world-class negotiation and deal making skills, he brings a high impact presence into every real estate transaction.