How to Write Effective Real Estate Listings
Creating real estate listings that sell is a skill anyone can learn. This article is a guide to one of the primary aspects of effective listings — writing.
Use a coherent structure
Start with a headline that's less than ten words. The title is to give readers an idea of what the house is like as well as a reason to click on the listing. For example, “Log Cabin Surrounded by Pisgah National Forest” or “Studio apartment in The West Village” are both short, but descriptive.
This first-sentence is a summary of everything that makes people want to live there. Begin without preamble. “You'll love this secluded, 2-story farmhouse with breath-taking views of Smith Mountain Lake.”
This is the core of
the listing. Keep a few things in mind:
- It's not features that buyers want, it's benefits. Tell a story that highlights
the benefits. (The house might have a lot of windows, but “plenty
of natural light” or “spectacular views of the lake from the
dining room” is what people are really after.)
Paint a picture. Use descriptive sentences that form a vivid picture in the readers mind. “You will love this charming, log cabin overlooking the James River valley. Enjoy dinner with friends in the knotty pine great room or just relax by the stone fireplace.”
This is a matter of preference (and some disagreement), but you don't have to include the cold data — things like the number of bedrooms or the acreage. That's in the listing. Focus on unique features (natural oak floors, saltwater pool) and things that aren't obvious from the listing details or photos.
The description should be in the same order as the photos, preferably from the front of the house to the back.
A Call to Action.
This short sentence invites the buyer to take the next steps. “Call today to tour this home.” Make it clear, short and professional.
Use accurate, descriptive adjectives instead of nothing-words. "Nice" and "amazing" have nearly stopped meaning anything. Don't use
words with not-so-secret
meanings. Cozy means small, TLC means poorly cared for, and potential means TLC.
Buyers want details, but you're not writing a novel. Keep the description somewhere between 150-250 words. Keep sentences descriptive, but short.
Don't over-punctuate. You can write a fantastic description without a single exclamation point. All caps? Don't.
You don't have to choose between being
descriptive and being honest. Be both.
This seems obvious, but proofread it. Grammatical errors and misspelled words are disconcerting.
Break These Rules
These guidelines are the beginning. They're just here to help you find your footing. Abide by them until you know them by heart. And then ignore them. When you break rules, do it with the grace of someone who knew the rule, but rejected it.
Now go write better listings.