Why Listing Descriptions Matter When Selling Your Home

Is your home already up for sale and suffering from a "lack of love" from buyers and not getting showings? It may be that some simple adjustments to your listing description and "agent only" showing instructions could make a world of difference.

Image by Sarah Reid at Flickr.com

Listing Descriptions Invite More Buyers

You've seen them... listing descriptions (also known as "marketing remarks") which either make no sense, are full of abbreviations or acronyms mostly known to agents that the reader must decode, or worse - they're just plain wrong. It's a very common problem - and "yes," as a seller you should be mindful of this issue, since you're ultimately paying for the marketing expenses when the home sells.

The listing write-up is what "speaks" to potential buyers; the description should draw them in - both figuratively and literally, into the home. Of course, quality photos matter most, but buyers do read listing descriptions in search of additional information. So, it's important to highlight the best features of the home - and without being too "flowery" or ethereal, as to risk confusing the reader... or make them laugh.

A Tale of Two Listing Descriptions

You decide between the two listing descriptions below. Which do you think would have a greater chance of enticing a buyer to schedule a home showing if they had no other information to go on? (FYI... marketing remarks in the Seattle area MLS are restricted to 500 characters.)

3250 SF 4 bed/2.5 bath home Hrdwd flrs throughout main level. Granite counters & back splash, large master w/2 person bath, shower & FP,walk in closet. Walk in closets in 2 other bedrooms. Fmly room & Home & huge media room. Non-skid deck, gazebo that is wired for sound & natural gas. Private back yard w/ dog run. RV Hook up home hooked up w/sewer line, just not connected to st. Generator in Garage w/exhaust going out.

Or...

Location, Lifestyle & Recreation - a rare combination! Live large in this 4 bed 2.5 bath home, perfect for entertaining indoors & out. Custom tri-level floorplan with easy flow, featuring hardwood floors, 3 fireplaces, kitchen w/ stainless appliances & slab granite, and an awesome media & game room. Relax in your HUGE master suite w/ 5-piece bath, separate shower & giant soaking tub. Oversized pass-thru garage, large backyard & deck w/ lighted gazebo & private stone patio w/ fire pit. A must see!

Sure.... the first description mentions many of the pertinent details, but it fails to speak to the reader. The second description is appealing to buyers who may most likely to be a match for this particular home - in this case, there's an emphasis on large living areas & outdoor spaces. It's also speaking directly to the reader.

When listing your home, it's always a good idea to review the marketing remarks before the listing goes live in the MLS, because the difference between good and bad listing descriptions can directly impact days on market and the final selling price. Pulitzer-prize winning verbiage isn't required, but it should at minimum, make sense and read well.

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