The Importance of Listing Descriptions When Selling a Home
Do you want to know how to write creative real estate listing descriptions? Whether you are a real estate agent or homeowner, this is a crucial task when selling a house.
Having a home description that rocks can really help you seal the deal.
With so much emphasis on great pictures – and now video – it is easy to let the creative listing description for the property you are selling fall through the cracks.
However, the description of a home in MLS is the next most vital marketing component besides your photos.
We’ll be taking a deep dive into how to write creative home descriptions.
Unfortunately, failing to describe the property well can limit the effectiveness of your listing. Interested buyers will read the listing description, so it is important to make sure you have an excellent home description if you want to stay at the top of your game as a real estate agent.
In every business, some will go the extra mile to make sure they are at the pinnacle of their game.
Likewise, some don’t pay attention, are lazy, or just don’t care enough to stand out at what they do. This is certainly the case with real estate agents when it comes to the marketing efforts when selling a home.
Every week there are thousands of homes listed across the country. When paying close attention to how these homes are described in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other places online, it is clear some real estate agents don’t put in much thought.
Some of the home descriptions are severely lacking any forethought.
When you are picking a real estate agent to work with, it is critical to check how they market homes online.
Are they investing the time in writing compelling real estate descriptions? How do their photos stack up against other agents? Do they offer some kind of video tour or slide share presentation?
Some agents do a great job at one but not the other. All three components are an important part of real estate marketing. Even though creative real estate listing descriptions are vital to marketing, many agents lack the ambition to separate a home’s best characteristics.
By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a better handle on how to write inspiring listing descriptions.
Don’t Repeat Home Descriptions.
One of the mistakes I see many real estate agents making all the time is being repetitive with the listing descriptions. There is limited space in most MLS home description sections, so using that space wisely is important.
There is no point in saying something like “great 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath home” in your remarks when you can clearly see that already in pre-determined checkboxes.
The space for remarks should be reserved for a compelling home description that will create a buzz. Real Estate agents should never underestimate the power of words in their listing remarks.
It stands to reason that all real estate agents should be writing home descriptions that help sell a property!
Without Exceptional Photography Home Descriptions Are Less Effective
Let’s get this out of the way right now. Great photography and video are definitely a priority when you are trying to sell a home. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” could not be more accurate when it comes to home sales. The first thing most buyers will notice is the pictures, and many of today’s buyers are also looking for video tours as well.
You want to make sure you have these components of the listing taken care of and that they are of good quality. Poor photography will not put the property in the best light and will likely turn prospective buyers away first.
Your photography will be the first impression a buyer gets about a property. If you blow that, they will not even get to your home’s description. They will be moving on to the next house.
While photography is critical, a creative listing description is also paramount in cementing buyers’ interest. Property descriptions are where buyers start to form an opinion about a home.
But… Images Are Only One Component Of The Listing
When buyers are looking at homes for sale on sites like Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia, the first thing that will grab them is the agent’s photography. Any potential buyer who likes the look of the house from the photographs will dig a little deeper – which means they will be reading the home description provided by the listing agent.
If the home’s listing description lacks, it can turn away buyers and cause you to miss a sale. Selling a property is a multi-stage process – images, listing description, viewing, etc.
You can lose buyers at any stage of the process, which you obviously want to avoid. Listing descriptions matter when selling a home!
How to Write Creative Listing Descriptions
First off, your home description needs to lay down all the qualities of the property you want people to know about – and the aspects that buyers want information on.
The listing needs to be as detailed as you can make it without going overboard. You are trying to attract and appeal to buyers, so you want to give them all the information they want and need while avoiding sounding like a technical manual. This is where your inner creativity comes in.
Creativity is something that comes easier to some people than others. Don’t stress too much if you are not a natural writer.
You are a real estate agent, so writing is not necessarily something you need to be great at. But you should develop a detailed understanding of what works, what doesn’t, and what appeals to buyers.
Being creative in real estate listing home descriptions is doing something in a way that stands out from the crowd.
Only you know what you are trying to differentiate yourself from, so what is creative and effective for you may not be the same as for someone else.
The key is to keep trying, keep experimenting and pay attention to what works. Learning how to write inspiring listing descriptions is something all real estate agents should strive to do!
Highlight The Best Qualities in Creative Home Descriptions
When writing your listing description, it is important to mention the property’s qualities that stand out over and above the competition.
For example, if all the competing homes have a two-car garage and yours has a three-car, you would want to emphasize this. Here are some specific examples of the types of things that should be highlighted in your home has them?
- The potential for an in-law suite.
- Expansion possibilities.
- Special energy-saving features.
- Special construction materials used.
- High-end pool or landscaping.
- Large backyards or multiple acreages.
- Cul-de-sac locations.
These are the kinds of features that will appeal to a large percentage of the buying public. They are also hot buttons that could be a requirement for a certain segment of the market.
Emphasize Quality Brands in Your Home Description Listing Remarks
When you are writing a compelling description of a home, emphasizing recognizable brands is vital, especially when marketing a luxury home.
For example, it is widely recognized that the kitchen is the most important room in a home. If it is an accurate description, you may want to use catchphrases like “chefs kitchen or “gourmet kitchen.”
Many people identify quality by brand names. If you have appliances with the names Sub-Zero, Viking, Wolfe, or Bosch, it will make sense to mention them. These names symbolize quality. They are also words that sell a home!
Recently I was selling a home in Milford, Massachusetts, and missed the fact the seller had a Sub-Zero wine fridge. We discussed how so many buyers make emotional purchases and some of the hot buttons for them are well-known name brands.
He was 100 percent right, and I fixed my listing home description right away.
Another good example of brand recognition is with heating systems. If your heating system is a Buderus or a Viessmann, this is certainly something you would point out as they are top of the line European boilers that are well known as being a step above the rest.
These are the kind of things many buyers will pay attention to.
Market Your Upgrades in All Listing Real Estate Descriptions
Another effective way to write creative real estate listing descriptions is to incorporate all of the seller’s upgrades and improvements.
The upgrades in the home should be marketed online and the marketing material that is left in the home as well. Here are the type of upgrades you should emphasize:
- New windows – emphasize high-quality brands like Anderson, Pella, or Marvin.
- New kitchen – especially mention things like granite counters and stainless appliances.
- New granite counters or tile shower in the baths.
- New carpets in the bedrooms.
- New roof.
- New hardwood floors or newly re-finished.
- New heating system.
- Air conditioning replaced.
- New Deck – specifically emphasize if it is low maintenance like Trex decking. More and more buyers want fewer home maintenance issues.
Don’t Forget City, Neighborhood, Schools, and Location in Home Descriptions.
When creating your listing remarks, don’t just focus on the house. If there is something special about the city in which your home is located, emphasize it.
If the schools are a cut above the rest, market the heck out of that. Maybe the neighborhood in which you reside is considered one of the best around? Never short-change the best attributes your home has to offer. Remember, you are selling a complete package, not just the structure in which you live.
Knowing how to write creative listing descriptions starts with knowing most buyers’ hot buttons.
You Can Build On The Work Of Others Real Estate Descriptions
Although your end goal is to be creative and unique, you have to start somewhere if you are new to this.
You can look at what other Realtors are doing and format your material off their work.
Ideally, you will look at real estate agents that you know are successful in your area. All good listings have a basic structure. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel.
Learn to recognize and reproduce the structure, then start experimenting with the different components. Selling a home with creative marketing is a quality that most great outstanding real estate agents have.
Remember this when it comes time to sell your place! Work with a real estate agent that thinks outside the box and goes the extra mile.
Follow General Marketing Principles With Words
Certain marketing words should be used and also avoided. Take a look at this excellent article from Vertical Response for a perspective.
Be sure to also check out this article from Buffer on words and phrases that convert in sales. Both of these articles will help create listing remarks that stand out from other real estate agents!
Using high-impact words can separate your description of a home from the competition.
The Basic Creative Listing Structure Online
The basic listing structure goes something like this:
Home Description Headline
The headline is what buyers will see when they first view the ad. It is the short sentence that shows up along with the image. If you look on sites like Craigslist, you can see how real estate agents are trying to stand out with their headlines.
Things like, “CHECK THIS OUT! – A Rare Waterfront Listing”, or something similar. They are trying to stand out. How you choose to come across is up to you, but remember that the headline is critical.
Opening House Description Listing Statement
An opening statement is your first chance to describe what you are offering. It is where you give the reader a reason to continue looking at the listing. Make the first sentence in your remarks be one of the most important aspects of the property. What do you really want to get across to the reader?
Real Estate Listing Description Examples
Creative Listing Description of Features
The easiest way to list the home’s features is to be straightforward: “New carpet, large backyard, basement with kitchen, etc.” The straightforward way is quick and easy, but also the least interesting way to explain what the home has to offer. A narrative description is much more appealing to buyers.
A narrative home description would go like this:
This spacious home with two story foyer and in-law apartment features lush new carpeting, a remodeled kitchen with granite counters and a big backyard, perfect for play, gardening or just relaxing on a weekend. The addition of a second full kitchen in the basement, along with private access, is ideal for someone who wants their own space – for renters or for family. The location can’t be beat as the home is located in a top neighborhood close to the center of town, schools, and highway access!
The narrative house description is designed to make the reader feel how great it would be to live in the home. These are two real estate listing description examples, with each probably having different impacts.
Promotions in House Descriptions
If you are offering a promotion to help sell the property, you can place it after the narrative home description – which will help motivate the reader to contact you after they read up on all the interesting features of the property.
Call to Action in Real Estate Listing Descriptions
While there is limited space in most multiple listings description boxes, online is a different story. There is much more space where you can get a bit creative in capturing a buyer.
Every listing advertisement should end with an encouraging call to action: “Don’t hesitate – call now to be the first in line for this incredible value!”
You have to ask people to do what you want them to do, so don’t feel bad about putting in a call to action.
Don’t Forget Contact Information in Your Home Description
Put your contact information down so they can easily get in touch to learn more or view the property. One of the frustrating parts of numerous real estate agent websites is how difficult it is to contact a person.
Nearly every page on a real estate website should make it easy to make contact. This means having an email address and phone number buyers can reach you at!
As an agent who is often referring clients to agents in other parts of the country, it is often frustrating to search all over the site for contact information.
If this describes your site, you are losing business!
What to Avoid in Advertising Remarks
One of the things real estate agents need to be very careful of when writing their listing remarks is violating the Fair Housing Act.
Real Estate agents are prohibited from discriminating in the sale or rental of property because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national heritage.
When crafting your remarks, it is important to avoid using any terminology that mentions any of these things. This is the worst kind of real estate advertising mistake!
Creating Creative Listing Descriptions Gets Easier With Practice
Writing is a skill that gets better with practice. Real Estate agents who want to improve will keep writing listings and experimenting with what works best. With practice, the agent should eventually get into a groove where they feel more comfortable.
Remember, real estate copy is an important part of the sales process, so make sure the listing agent you hire invests the time to make your home sound worthy of grabbing a buyers’ attention.
Always Check Your Real Estate Agents Home Descriptions and Advertising
It is always a good idea to check your home’s advertising online as soon as it is posted.
Don’t be surprised if the expression on your face is similar to the one above. Many agents do nothing whatsoever to enhance your home description. You could likely find yourself shocked and disappointed.
Hopefully, you now understand the importance of having a creative real estate listing description.
Final Thoughts on Real Estate Listing Descriptions
While a real estate listing description isn’t as crucial as your home’s photography, never assume it won’t help sell your property. Look for an agent who is willing to put in the time to make your home’s description stand out.
A well-rounded marketing plan will help your home sell quickly and for more money. Property descriptions should not be taken for granted!
Additional Home Selling Articles Worth a Look
- Outside the box real estate marketing – get some helpful tips on how to market a home much better.
- Do open houses sell homes – open houses are a marketing activity that offers far more benefits to a real estate agent than a homeowner.
- What real estate agents should do for home sellers – see the myriad of tasks that a real estate agent should be performing when selling a home.
- Hire a content marketer to sell your home – the best real estate marketers write creative real estate listing descriptions. They also have an online marketing plan as well.
- Marketing helps you make more money – compelling real estate marketing will put more money in your pocket.
Use these additional home selling resources to make smart decisions when hiring a real estate agent to market your property. Look for a real estate agent that understands the importance of well-thought-out listing remarks!
About the author: The above Real Estate information on creative real estate listing descriptions are vital to marketing was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 34+ Years.
Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!
I service Real Estate Sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton, and Uxbridge MA.