7 Tips for Writing Real Estate Listing Description

First impressions are everything. With real estate listings, a buyer’s first impression of a home is typically a result of your listing photos. But second impressions can be just as important, and that’s where a well-written property description comes in handy.

You most likely didn’t get into real estate because you love to write. Heck, you might even think you’re a terrible writer. Not to worry! Follow the guidelines below and you’ll be writing powerful listing descriptions in no time.

  1. Spelling and Grammar: Let’s get this one out of the way immediately. Using bad grammar or failing to correct all typos could immediately destroy your listing’s credibility. You don’t need to be a spelling bee champion, but you should take advantage of your computer’s built-in spell check function and give your listing a final review before posting.
  2. ALL CAPS: Writing in all capital letters might catch someone’s attention, but it may be in a negative way. You want your descriptions to flow nicely and sound like casual conversation when someone reads it in their mind. Writing in all caps conveys shouting and can be difficult to read.
  3. Paint a Picture: To avoid boring your potential buyers, use descriptive words and phrases wherever you can. This does wonders when it comes to livening up dry descriptions. For example, take a look at the following two sentences. A. The updated kitchen has new floors, cabinets, countertops, and stainless steel appliances. B. The gourmet kitchen has been completely updated with travertine tile floors, cherry red oak cabinets, custom quartz countertops, and top-of-the-line KitchenAid stainless steel appliances.” The two sentences make the same point – the kitchen is updated – but sentence B paints a more vivid, desirable picture in the reader’s mind.
  4. Discrimination: Blatant discrimination obviously has no place in real estate, but not all discrimination is intentional. Many agents commit crucial errors without even knowing it. Writing something like, “The large formal dining room is the perfect setting for Christmas Eve dinners.” may sound innocent enough, but remember not everyone celebrates Christmas so this may turn some buyers away from the home. Focus on the home’s physical traits and refrain from using any reference that may single out or exclude potential groups of buyers.
  5. Tour through Text: If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start your listing, imagine how buyers tour a home in person and convey that through text. For example, many showings begin in the living room (or whatever room the front door leads into), followed by the kitchen, into the bedrooms and bathrooms, into the basement, etc. This will vary based on the layout of the home, but try to mimic the natural flow when taking readers on a tour through text.
  6. Avoid Repetition: Zillow, Realtor.com, and other major listing portals already include quite a bit of detail by default, including bullet lists for the number of beds and baths, square footage, price, etc. Don’t waste valuable real estate (pun intended) in your property descriptions by simply re-writing the price, square footage, and other details already shown.
  7. Size Matters: There’s a fine line between not writing enough and writing a novel. Keep your descriptions short and to the point in order to keep the attention of the potential buyer. The ideal length of a property description will vary depending on who you ask, but try to keep it around 200 to 250 words. Be sure to consider how many words or characters your local MLS allows you to include.

If you’ve taken all these guidelines into consideration and are still struggling to get started, write a list of the home’s main features.Once you’ve listed the main points, group them into the natural walkthrough progression from guideline #5 above and incorporate descriptive words and phrases.

  • Bungalow-style house
  • Renovated
  • Open layout
  • Hardwood floors
  • Living room with gas fireplace
  • Formal dining room
  • Updated kitchen
  • Custom oak cabinets
  • Quartz countertops
  • KitchenAid appliances
  • Master bedroom
  • 5-piece master bath with large tub
  • Walk-in closet
  • 3 additional bedroom
  • 2 additional bathrooms
  • Laundry room
  • Recreation/entertainment space
  • Wet bar
  • 2-car garage
  • Large backyard
  • Gas fire pit
  • Deck

Here is an example of what that list might look like:

Gorgeous renovated bungalow in the desirable (neighborhood name here) neighborhood. The open entry level and main floor flows with beautiful hardwood floors, connecting the living room area with its gas fireplace and the formal dining room. Continue into the grand Chef’s kitchen, featuring top-of-the-line KitchenAid appliances, custom cabinets, and white quartz counter tops. The spacious, main-level master bedroom comes complete with large walk-in closets and a luxurious 5-piece bathroom. Head upstairs to find three additional bedrooms, two full bathrooms, and plenty of storage space. The finished basement boasts a large recreation room with a wet bar, laundry room, and an additional bedroom. The large backyard is an entertainer’s delight with its large deck, gas fire pit, and detached 2-car garage. Don’t miss your opportunity to own this amazing home in one of (your city’s name) best neighborhoods!

This article was originally posted on BreakthroughBroker.com by Lance.

Lance is a Denver Realtor, a marketing consultant for a variety of small businesses, and a real estate, music, and food journalist. He loves thinking outside the box to develop creative marketing strategies based on technology and is always up for a good challenge. He wears many hats, both figuratively and literally. In his free time, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find him attending concerts, trying new restaurants, sampling local breweries, or trying way too hard to play his favorite songs on guitar (whether it actually sounds good or not is up for debate). He will try just about any kind of food at least once, no matter how weird or unusual it may be, and has a special place in his heart for a good plate of nachos.