Write a Winning Listing Description in 500 Characters or Less

By Home Bay

Posted on July 11th, 2016

When someone asks you about your home, you have no problem talking about it – but when you’re asked to write about it, you get stuck. Sound familiar? Follow this formula to write a home description that engages buyers, generates buzz and helps you sell your home quickly.


Make Every Word Count:

The standard length of a listing description is five hundred characters. That’s not a lot, especially when you are trying to describe your home. When sellers sit down to write a listing description, there are two ways they commonly get off track. One, their emotional connections to the home trigger more colorful prose than useful descriptions. Or two, a bare bones list of attributes with no color at all is what comes out when fingers meet keyboard. The key is to find a place somewhere in the middle to describe your home without wasting a single word.

Make a List of Attributes:

Use lists to gather your thoughts and organize your description so that you include all the important points. Start by listing your home’s attributes and make sure you list everything, even if you don’t think it will find it’s way into the final copy. Go room by room, listing any updates, upgrades, add-ons and anything else that will grab a potential buyer’s attention and draw attention to selling points. This list will be immensely useful when it comes time to start writing.

Don’t Repeat Yourself:

Now that you have a list, cross off everything that will be included in the basic details section of the listing. Doing so will help you skip mentioning redundant features, like the number of beds and baths, in your description. Eliminating duplicate content from your list will also make it easier for you to choose what key features to spend your five hundred character budget on.

Highlight Updates and Upgrades:

It’s always wise to mention any upgrades and updates that have been made to the interior and exterior of the home. These are usually major selling points so use the description to make them shine. This can be things like new flooring or countertop installation or it can be less visible things, like an overhauled HVAC system or upgraded electrical panel.

Use Powerful Words:

Canadian professor, Paul Anglin from the University of Guelph conducted a real estate study set out to evaluate how specific words impact home sales. Here are some details on what he discovered.

  • Words that are effective in selling a home:
    • Beautiful
    • Fixer Upper
    • Gourmet
    • Landscaping
    • Granite
    • Curb Appeal
    • Maple
  • Words that are not effective at selling a home:
    • Value
    • Ranch
    • New Paint
    • Clean
    • Vacant
    • Must Sell
    • Quiet
    • Motivated
    • New Carpet
    • Move-In Condition

Use these tips to write a winning listing description that tells a story, engages potential buyers and encourages them to daydream about what it would be like to live in your home.

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Posted in Listing Description, Preparing to Sell