How To Craft The Perfect Real Estate Listing Description

Writing real estate listing descriptions is an art. Sure, people will notice the photos first, but it’s the description that really sells a property.

And since the housing market is really hot right now, it’s more important than ever to make your listing description really stand out. Existing home sales reached 5.64 million units in 2020, the highest level since 2006.

Fortunately, you can make your listing description pop if you follow the points below.

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Make Every Word Count

Most listing descriptions are bland and boring. They only give the bare minimum of information in about 60 words or so.

However, the best descriptions span about 250 words. That’s around the character limit for most MLS sites. So you still only have a few lines to work with, which means you need to make every word count. Make it snappy and get to the point quickly. Keep it concise.

After all, most people scan several listings at a time. If yours doesn’t capture their attention quickly, they might move on. Convince them to learn more by telling a story. Give your listing personality and provide detailed information at the same time.

Write A Captivating Headline

The best listing descriptions start with an alluring headline. The headline should catch the reader’s eye in no more than 10 words.

Don’t use all caps or excessive amounts of exclamation points. These will only make you sound annoying. Instead, use title case, which means capitalizing the first letter of each word.

Here are some examples of good headlines:

  • A Peaceful Escape On the Lake
  • Charming Victorian in Prized Position
  • City Convenience, Country Serenity

Each headline sparks an image that leaves the reader wanting to learn more. That’s the headline’s job. To lead the reader to the description’s next part—the body.

Craft A Riveting Body

There’s no best way to structure the actual text of a description except that it should generally match the order of listing photos. So if the pictures show the whole house, then the living room, then the kitchen, and so on, your description should follow suit.

Of course, the first sentence is the most important. It’s your opportunity to pull the reader in with an opening statement. Make it short enough that it’s effortless to read and easily leads into the next sentence.

Highlight the property’s best features. These could include the nice parking or the spacious backyard. Mention unique landscaping features like trees and wind walls or glass railing systems. Or name nearby amenities, like public transit options, parks, schools, restaurants, waterfronts, and so on.

You’ll also want to highlight features inside the house. Note remodeled kitchens and upgraded bathrooms, for example. Call out name-brand appliances and new flooring and windows. Bring up anything that adds value.

Include any smart home features, too, whether it’s an automated thermostat, connected speakers, or a smart security system. Give mention to any energy efficiencies like roof solar panels as well.

In all of this, you’ll want to use engaging adjectives and power words that appeal to the emotions. If you get stuck, check a thesaurus to find the right word. Studies show that certain words sell more than others. For example, “luxurious,” “captivating,” and “granite” are all great at communicating value to the reader.

Make A Powerful Ending

Toward the end, you should highlight any seller perks: special promotions, covered closing costs, seller financing, or a limited-time reduced price. Whatever you do, create a sense of urgency to entice shoppers.

Finally, end the description with a call to action (CTA). Invite the reader to make a call or send a message to learn more. You should always leave them with an action they can make to take the next step.

Avoid These Mistakes

That said, here are some mistakes you should avoid as well:

  • Don’t include too much basic information. You can leave out technical specifications like total square feet because they’re typically included elsewhere in the listing already. That way, you don’t bore the reader.
  • Avoid using real estate acronyms. Many readers won’t know that BD stands for bedroom or that D/W stands for dishwasher. So using these terms only confuses them.
  • Stay away from certain red flag words. These include “fixer-upper,” “potential,” and “opportunity,” among others. Though these terms may be accurate, you shouldn’t make them a primary selling point. They can be a turn-off, even to those who don’t mind putting some work into the property.
  • Don’t overhype or oversell. If you do, you’ll only disappoint your leads when they visit the property in person. Plus, you could get into legal trouble if your listings are misleading. So always be honest and accurate in your description.
  • Finally, steer clear of targeting specific demographics. For example, you may be tempted to say the house is in a family-friendly neighborhood. However, the Fair Housing Act prohibits discriminating against anyone in the 7 protected classes, which are race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, or familial status. So you need to be extra careful with your wording or you could be fined.

Edit, Revise, And Publish

Once you’re done writing, it’s time to proofread. Check for any spelling or grammar mistakes. You want your listing description to be flawless. Try reading out loud to make sure it flows well and have someone else read over it as well. Another set of eyes can catch things that yours don’t.

Make some edits and revise your draft until it’s satisfactory to you. You may even make multiple drafts so you can pick the best one.

And with that, you’re ready to publish the listing description online. Couple it with high-quality photos that show off the best parts of the property. When done right, your property listing will pull in the best potential buyers.

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