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Writing Strong Real Estate Listings

December 14, 2011

From Sandie Tate

Even as marketing moves from traditional forms like radio and newspaper into more online channels, one thing doesn’t change – the sales listing. No matter where it is… on the Internet or in the classifieds, the listing you write has to accomplish a lot in a small space.

Home Listing Goals:

  1.  Concisely capture key features of the home.
  2. Create excitement so the reader contacts you to learn more and tour the home.
  3. Stand out from other listings on that page that are competing for the same buyer.

In this market, where inventory is high and buyers are sought after, it’s even more important to do a good job with your sales listings. Even if you’ve been selling homes for decades, it’s still smart to take a fresh look at best practices in writing about a home for sale.

Back up a flashy headline with truth.
We’ve all seen headlines like: “A backyard paradise” or “Convenient to everything.” You might think bold and flashy catches attention – and it does. But, then the prospective buyer arrives and sees a muddy yard with overgrown bushes or a home that’s right next to a gas station. This kind of marketing may get prospects to a property, but they won’t stay when you’ve promised something that stretches the truth.

Think of formatting that’s outside the box.
Typical listings are several sentences or paragraphs long, and readers have to work through it to find out about the house. Sadly, in a world of short attention spans, homebuyers may not have the patience to read the entire listing, and may miss important selling points. Bulleted lists are potentially a more effective way to market a home.

Highlight best rooms with photos.
If you write about a gourmet kitchen or the fantastic spa shower in the master bathroom, make sure you include pictures of those rooms! You would be surprised at how many listings don’t include photos of the rooms that will sell the home. Be intentional about the photos you choose – if they are out of focus or dark, retake them.

Proof and fact check before you publish. If you don’t want to be one of the ads mocked when Jay Leno does Headlines on The Tonight Show, be sure to proofread your listings, or have someone else with fresh eyes proof them for you. Not only are you looking for misspellings or grammar problems. It’s also time to fact check against your photos. Does the picture show a 2-½-car garage and you list it as 3? Does the listing boast of wood floors in every room, but there’s linoleum in the laundry room? Catch inconsistencies before they make it into the paper or online!

For more marketing ideas on reaching buyers, contact one of our loan officers.


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