Updated: Feb 17
It’s a well-known fact in real estate, that sharp photos and well-written property descriptions help listings sell faster, and for above asking more times than not. In some cases, property descriptions alone can affect whether a house is selling.
One Agent Inner Circle member shared a story about taking over a listing that hadn’t sold for 2 YEARS – but he had it under contract in 4 days… with 8 offers! He did all this simply by changing the listing description.
Don’t worry though, you don’t have to be a New York Times bestselling author to write great property descriptions, you just have to be great at what you already specialize in… knowing your market. The best agents know what draws people to a home, and exactly which type of people are shopping in their market.
Write Directly to the Home’s Perfect Buyers
The goal of any property description is to draw in the buyers most likely to purchase that specific house. However, all too often we see property descriptions that look like stat sheets the general public then has to decipher.
A downtown home with room to entertain draws in a very different buyer than a small farmhouse tucked in the woods on a 100 acre parcel. So if you want to find the right buyers for a particular property, write accordingly!
Start by outlining the 3 considerations you need to keep in mind before you begin writing your description. (We promise, this will save you time in the long run.)
1) The Property’s Unique Benefits Capturing a property’s most desirable attributes is what agents do best. But just listing the key features doesn’t help potential buyers visualize themselves living there. Talk to the homeowners to really understand what it’s like to live there, after all who is better suited to highlight everything to love about a property than they are?
2) The Wants & Needs of the Property’s Potential Buyers Understanding what makes a property great is one side of the coin, but we all know that people don’t buy houses simply because they loved it’s top feature. People search for properties based on a varied number of criteria: location, neighborhood, affordability, commute, school district, and the list goes on… the point at which people buy a specific property is when the unique benefits of the home finally meet up with their criteria. Be sure you understand what the needs and wants of the potential buyers are for that specific home and speak directly to those in your copy.
3) The Words That Attract The Right Buyers Communities of people tend to have their own language and phrases that you can use to make your property descriptions stand out. Take some time to figure out any specific language, phrases or lexicon used by your audience. (If the home has space for entertaining, and you know nothing about throwing a party, maybe it’s time for a crash course.)
Structure Your Copy
Now that you’re done brainstorming and have really focused on what will attract buyers to this specific property, it’s time to start writing. And while every home is different, great property descriptions all share the same traits. They all:
Tell a Story From early childhood onward, stories captivate us and spark our imagination. They’re ingrained in our cultures, used as educational tools and motivate many of our decisions. Because of which, great stories sell no matter what industry you’re in. So shift gears, and try telling the story of living in and loving this home.
Example (before): 5 Bed, 4 Bath home with view and room to entertain… Example (after): Spend evenings entertaining your friends over a city view in this 5 bed, 4 bath…
Appeal to The Senses Psychologically readers engage better with writing that calls to their senses. By using language that appeals to the senses, you have a higher likelihood of connecting with your reader.
Example (before): A backyard with beautiful rose bushes. Example (after): Enjoy the vibrant scent of fresh roses right in your own backyard.
Use Impact Words that Appeal to Emotion Beyond the senses, readers also draw a connection to writing that evokes emotion. Your goal here is to make an emotional impact without being cliche. Words tend to lose their impact the more a person has heard or read them, so be original and stand out from the crowd.
Example (before): “Charming” Example (after): “Warm”
Speak to the Genuine Qualities of the Property As humans tell stories, we have a tendency to elaborate the details over time. The 5 inch fish becomes 10 and then 20. However, when it comes to property descriptions you can’t inflate the details. Every home has a perfect buyer, just as it sits. Your goal is to tell the most authentic story you can to attract that buyer.
Let’s Put It All Together
Outside of images, the 150 to 500 words you have available within MLS descriptions are the most important part of marketing a home, so make sure you get the most out of them.
Start by writing the long form version of your description. Here, you’ve got more space to elaborate on the highlights of a property…. so showcase your talents as a real estate agent. Set the scene and put buyers in the home before they ever set foot in the door. Make them feel as if they’ve woken up to the first morning in their dream home.
Once you’re done with the long form version, it’s time to craft your short version… or is it? The goal of the first sentences in your long form version is to entice people to keep reading, so why wouldn’t you want the same thing for your short version? Long-story short (pun intended), if you’ve crafted the right opening for your property description, you’ve already done the work to create your short form copy.
See the Difference for Yourself
Every agent has the opportunity to stand out with great listing descriptions, no matter what kind of writer they may be. So use our strategy with your next listing – or try switching up one of your existing descriptions and see the difference for yourself.
Thank you to Neil Mathweg and his copywriter Keith Gilmore for submitting this amazing sample of their work, for us to share with all of you:
Full Example: “You found me! I’m a classic Cape-Cod home, looking for that special someone. I may be in my 60’s, but I still turn a lot of heads with my young qualities – NEW Windows, UPDATED WOOD FLOORS & Carpet, SPACIOUS Dine-In Kitchen! (Check out my update list!) Spoiler: I’ve even gotta a potential 4TH BEDROOM downstairs & ¾ bath, or just use it as your bonus room. And when you’re not upstairs in my Updated LRG Master, chill out in my REMODELED 3 SEASON PORCH! But you won’t wanna be at home very much, what, with how close you’ll be to Olbrich Lake (psst! Biergarten), Pinney Library, Java Cat & Olbrich Gardens! I’m definitely priced to sell, which means I won’t be around long.. Let’s meet today!”
By Alex Camelio, CEO - Posted onJanuary 29, 2020