5 tips for writing a property listing that sells!
Published on September 20, 2019
In order to put your property up for sale and to maximize your chances of finding the right buyer, you need to write a listing. This task may seem onerous to some, especially if writing isn’t your strong suit. But creating an effective listing is an essential step in marketing your home successfully. And ultimately, it’s really not that hard!
Here are a few tips to allow anyone to write an ad that really takes off.
- You are the expert on your home
- Find inspiration for your writing
- 1. Showcase your home
- 2. Keep it short and precise
- 3. Avoid vague terms
- 4. Use abbreviations wisely
- 5. Edit to get an error-free copy
- Quality photos are a must
- Make visibility your mission
Who knows your property best? As the owner, you are the perfect person to describe it. Creating a listing is a little like showing a potential buyer your home and the neighbourhood, to help them decide whether the house, the lot and the location are right for them. A description that’s complete and catchy will attract attention and help you restrict visitors to buyers whose criteria actually match your real estate. That’s a great time saver!
Are you hesitant to pick up a pen? Feel uncomfortable? Ask someone you trust for help or even hire a professional writer. You’ll have to explain out loud all the important points that relate to your home.
The first goal of your listing is to be understood. Give detailed, accurate and clear information about your property. It’s also a good opportunity to bring out your home’s selling points.
To get inspired and make sure you don’t overlook anything, make a list of everything that could be part of your home’s description, like the square footage, location, materials, finish, recent renos, the new pool, etc. Recall what attracted you to this property years ago. What makes it different from the other homes on the market? The answers to these questions will give you ideas of what to include in your listing.
For now, don’t censor any ideas. Just write down everything that comes to mind while you walk around your home, and then do the same for the yard and the neighbourhood. Afterwards, you can group some of the characteristics on your list into themes or categories. Even if some of this information doesn’t make it to the listing, it can help you when you’re answering phone calls or receiving visitors.
A good real estate listing brings out the interesting aspects of the property that’s for sale. It says what photos can’t communicate. To pique the interest of potential buyers, share your home’s advantages and qualities right from the first lines.
Complete, detailed information
Then add the essential aspects of your home that don’t show up in photos: number of rooms, potential income, etc. Mention the renovations you have done, the air exchanger you installed recently, or the potential inclusions. It’s also worth mentioning if a large park, a river or services are located nearby. And don’t forget to include the asking price and selling conditions.
Be enticing but stay realistic
Short and simple doesn’t mean lacking in personality, so add a little flair. There’s nothing wrong with saying “gorgeous two-storey house” rather than “single-family home” or to talk about a “highly sought-after area” instead of “good neighbourhood.” However, if you use the word “estate” to describe your property, it must really be one. It’s best not to exaggerate, to avoid disappointing future visitors.
Unless you have a unique story to tell or are an outstanding writer, you’re better off focussing on the essentials. A listing with long paragraphs may discourage readers.
- Use short, easy-to-understand sentences. Stick with the basics: subject, verb, object.
- If you have a lot of things to list, use bullet points or a numbered list.
- Break up the text, to make it easier to read, using line breaks and punctuation.
- Don’t write in all caps. It’s harder to read and comes off as aggressive.
To help the buyer, stay away from any terms that can be misunderstood or misinterpreted. For example, “lots of extras” is not as clear as “washer, dryer and dishwasher included.” And you’ll avoid pointless calls by saying “15 minutes from downtown” instead of “near highways,” and by specifying “country-style décor” instead of “tastefully decorated.”
We’ve said it before but it’s key that your listing be easy to understand. If you cut out words or shorten expressions, make sure the text is still easy to read. It may be a good idea to ask someone you know to read your copy. If they don’t understand what “2 br in bsmt” means, the odds are that some buyers won’t either. It would then be better to write “two bedrooms in the basement.”
Pro tip: Always get someone to reread your listing and take time to correct it. You can use editing software or get help from a professional. Generally speaking, a well-written ad will inspire trust.
Online, you can’t go without photos. It’s one of the first things future buyers look at, to get an idea of the place. Your photos must be impeccable. They must represent the reality as much as possible. And they should be presented in logical order. Learn how to attract buyers with photos. To leave nothing to chance, offer a 3D virtual tour.1 This technology is a powerful tool that lets buyers visualize your entire home.
Once you’ve got your listing and your photos, you need to get them out there! Your listing needs maximum visibility, ideally on a recognized real-estate platform like DuProprio.com, which happens to be the most liked real estate site in Quebec!2
In short, you don’t need to be a professional writer to create an impactful listing. First and foremost, you need to give an honest and detailed description. By following the above tips, you’ll create an ad that does your home justice and that you’re proud to share!
Planning to sell? DuProprio can help you, wherever you are in Quebec. Schedule a free consultation and take control of your real estate transaction.