Published by Jim Droz
Think about one of your favorite books. What do you like about it? Chances are it’s descriptions that paint a mental picture or put you inside a character’s mind.
We live in a visual world but the written word still has power. How you and your client list a home is a good example. Showing photos or posting a video are good ideas, but how you describe a room, special feature or the neighborhood can go a long way toward piquing a buyer’s interest. A sharp turn of a phrase might get a prospect in the door, whereas a dull description could keep them from even stopping by.
While a house listing isn’t a novel (and keeping things tight is important), you’re still trying to catch the eye of a specific audience. Here are some ways to get that done:
What’s behind the curtain? A buyer can get the number of bedrooms and bathrooms by clicking on the site’s data field. Boring! Important details such as an expansive closet or great views from several windows will entice buyers to want to see more.
Get real. Saying a “remodeled kitchen” or “refurbished living room” might be accurate, but what type of work was done and how does it enhance the living experience? Mention the pull-out shelves or walk-in pantry that will make their life easier. Also, mention upgrades such as new shingles on the roof, a finished basement that is great for entertaining and family fun and dual sinks in the master bedroom.
Don’t go overboard. Being too flowery and overly descriptive will only make readers shake their heads because it sounds like a sales pitch. Using adjectives sparingly is a good way to go, especially if they’re effective ones. Rather than “beautiful” try “gorgeous” or “lovely,” and rather than saying a room is “spacious” try “open floor plan” because it sounds airy and leaves things up to the imagination. And be realistic. Don’t use phrases such as “top of the line” or “you’ll love it!” Everyone has their own tastes.
Get it right. Texting and personal e-mails can create bad habits regarding spelling and grammar, but it’s imperative that your listing be clean in that regard. And be careful with abbreviations or, better yet, don’t use them because they might mean different things to different people or age groups. Awkward!
Create excitement. The price is obviously the most important part of the equation and if someone can’t afford a $350,000 house, nothing you write can change that. But using “priced to sell” can be a call to action for buyers, even if the home is priced on par with others in the area.
Make it memorable. A home is a place full of memories, so let prospective buyers know what types of experiences they can expect. Write that the deck is “great for relaxing with a glass of wine and a good book” or that the kitchen and attached dining room is a great area to “entertain friends or have family gatherings.” Also, if your neighborhood is near a park or hiking trails, tell them about it because it could enhance the living experience.
Be careful. As stated above, going overboard can be a bad thing. So can certain words such as “quaint” or “cozy” because they might imply a lack of space. Let the square footage speak for itself. Likewise, don’t use words such as “as is” or “fixer-upper” because it will be seen as a house needing a lot of work.