Whether you are drafting your own for-sale listing or a real estate agent is putting one together for your review, crafting the perfect post lies somewhere between art and science. The headline and description is the first thing buyers will see when they review MLS listings and you should aim for the perfect post with these great DO’s and DON’Ts:
- DO: Remember that your photos are all about lighting and space. This command cannot be understated. Make sure your photos have enough light — both natural light and fixture/lamp light and from all angles possible! This is a must for every room, whether large or small. You should also display all angles and corners of every room. Make sure your photos show space, no matter what size the room is. You can do this by taking a wide-angle and/or panorama photo with your phone camera or professional camera. You can even consider hiring a professional photographer. Cleanliness matters as well. Make sure every room in every photo is orderly, immaculate, and decluttered.
- DO: Provide just enough detail, but also get to the point quickly. Be “salesy” but not overly salesy. Keep sentences short and use highlight words that stand out. Try not to go over 200 words at a maximum. You don’t want just anyone coming over. You want to narrow down your audience to those most likely to be interested in your home for the right reasons.
- DO: Include key search words when it makes sense. Some buyers will do advanced searches on property websites and look for very specific amenities, such as “quartz” countertops in the kitchen, a backyard pool, or a large lot. You can emphasize the bells and whistles on your home or property by choosing the right words.
- DO: Use impeccable grammar and punctuation. A listing should draw your audience in, not deter them. Use crisp, clean and descriptive writing. Express and accentuate your home’s most lovable features in upbeat-yet-calming tones, and with confidence. This doesn’t mean using a string of capitalized words for several sentences, nor several exclamation points or phrases such as “a must see” or “you’re absolutely going to love this place,” etc. Your home will speak for itself with the photos and detailed information you provide in your listing. You want those walking in to be their own judge.
- DO: List the top facts that make your property stand out. Are the property taxes relativity low compared to nearby neighborhoods? Will the house be low-maintenance for several years to come? Include those facts. Do you have friendly neighbors who watch out for each other, and great schools or shopping nearby? List them out. Does the backyard make a great entertainment venue? Put it in. Also consider including what may be “great” about your home for all sorts of family households and generational situations.
- DO: Spotlight anything that’s been replaced, remodeled, or recently fixed. However, beware of confusing true upgrades with maintenance, such as the maintenance of repainting the outside of the house or having the roof replaced versus upgrades such as adding a new bedroom, backyard Jacuzzi, or solar panels. List any upgrades first and maintenance items second.
- DO: Include escrow buyer “perks” if you offer them. Will you be including a home warranty? Are you offering seller credits up front toward the buyer’s closing costs? Is your escrow-close date flexible and competitive compared to many other sellers? Make note of any of these and other escrow benefits a buyer would incur.
- DO: Double check your real estate agent’s sales-listing information and details (lot size, home’s square footage, number of bedrooms, etc.). These details are usually included in a form/list format somewhere beneath (or to the side) of your home’s description. Sometimes incorrect information is accidentally added, setting up a situation where home viewings elicit unsatisfied potential buyers when they walk in.
- DON’T: Highlight negatives that should instead be revealed during the inspection. Your listing should be a window into your home, not a full disclaimer about anything that’s not right with the property. Such conversation is best saved for later when the buyer has had a visit and shows real interest. On a side note, don’t include unsightly characteristics. This one is a no-brainer but it’s worth mentioning.
- DON’T: Stretch the truth about any of your home’s features. Do you state it’s a four-bathroom plan when in reality it’s 3.5 or 3.75? Do you say all the bedrooms are spacious when at least one of them is very small? Do you exaggerate the outside view and/or privacy in the backyard when that point is subjective or debatable? The list could go on. Ask yourself, “What would a reasonable home shopper expect to see if they came to see my home based on my listing?” You won’t be disappointed.
Check off this do and don’t list as you review your listing and you’ll be sure to have a best seller description on your hands and a soon-to-be buyer at your house.