Sellers: What is Your Agent Saying about Your Home?

Real Estate Agent with | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 228209

What's it Worth to You?

What is Your Agent Saying about Your Home?

What's in a Word?Sellers, what's in a word inthe real estate market?  Words used in real estateadvertisements were recently evaluated and written by ProfessorPaul Anglin, University of Guelph, Ontario afterexamining listings of about 20,000 homes.  Interestinglyenough,I've spent alot of time evaluting words to help with my listings andhave come up with similar results.  My results, however, arenot nearlyas detailed as his but, my evaluation is simply a 'poll!'

BeautifulFor example, did you know thatthe work 'beautiful'is worthabout $12, a sale?  'Beautiful'  or 'gorgeous'homes sellabout 15% faster than average and for a whopping 5% more! Conversely, 'move-in-condition'sells 12%faster than averagebut, has no bearing on the selling price.  

'Must see'has no effecton either the time on the market or the salesprice but, does seem to cause sellers and listing agentsto think thatthe value of the home is 4% higher than it really is! However, ifyou use the word 'vacant,' the time on the market is neither helped orhindered but, will bring a sales price of about 8% less.

'Starter homes'will sell 9%quicker but, will bring 10% less in price.

Motivated'Motivated' is the REAL shocker!  Ifyou use the word 'motivated,'your timeon the market will increase by a whopping 30% and bring asalesprice of 8% less.  Rather than writing about howmotivatedyour sellers are, write about how gorgeous the 'landscaping' is; thatwill decrease your time on the market by 20% and improve your list andsales prices by 5 and 6% respectively!

If you're in a terrible hurry to sell and don't mind a huge slash insales price, use the term 'handymanspecial:'  this will sell yourlisting in HALFthe time but, for 30% LESS than it should!

'Rental property'will increaseyour time on the market by 60%! Don't advertise your home as being rental property!  Whenyou finally DO sell, your salesprice will be reduced by 9%!

I'm headed to evaluate my current listings to see what words areworking for me according to Professor Anglin!  

I wonder if I'm correct in thinking that 'turnkey' wouldprobably bringa faster sale with a higher price?  Or if the words 'needsupdating' will bring a much extended time on the marketand a muchlower sales price?

What words are YOU fond of using in your listing descriptions? 

MoreSeller Tips:

What Can You do if Your Home Does Not Appraise?

Dear Seller:

Seller Tips, Part I (Pricing)

Seller Tips, Part II (Declutter)
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Debe in Charlotte

About the author:

Debe Maxwell is a Charlotte ResidentialReal EstateBroker, Certified Neighborhood and Relocation Specialist who can assistyou with the purchase and/or sale of real estate in Charlotte NC orany place in the country by connecting you with a relocationprofessional in your destination of choice. Debe has created a team ofprofessionals throughout the country to ensure that youenjoya smooth transition to your new area. These professionals are expertsin the field of relocation and can serve many purposes beyond a simplehome search. The destination service is of no cost to you! Please visit for your relocation and/or your local needs.

Debe Maxwell- 704.491.3310 -

Copyright© 2008 By Debe Maxwell, All Rights Reserved...*Sellers: What is Your Agent Saying about Your Home*


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  1. Leah J. Armstrong 08/15/2008 04:19 PM
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Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Debe- I am cheering on Michael Phelps while I am reading your post! Great race and great post! It is a great life! Sellers will be wise to choose you as their agent.

Aug 12, 2008 03:28 PM #1
Shannon Lefevre
John R. Wood Properties - Naples, FL
Shannon Lefevre, PA Your Naples Smart Girl

Hey Debe,  what a brilliant post.  Could you please research..."could smell better"..."groovy" and of course my personal favorite...FABULOUS!  HUGS!

Aug 12, 2008 04:58 PM #2
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

Extremely helpful tips.  I have already adjusted some on my terms after reading similar statistics.

Aug 12, 2008 06:48 PM #3
Adam Waldman
Westcott Group Real Estate Company - Hauppauge, NY
Realtor - Long Island

DEBE - Who knew that there was research like this?  It is very interesting, and should give people food for thought when deciding upon their choice of words.  I featured this in the newly named Dedicated Bloggers group (formerly Active Rain Addicts).

Aug 12, 2008 10:05 PM #4
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I agree words make a difference. When I read certain words I  feel like looking at the house.

Aug 12, 2008 11:32 PM #5
Leesa Finley
RED Properties - Wake Forest, NC
RED Properties - Raleigh NC Real Estate

Debe - I received an email a while ago with some other research on key words to use.  I am surprised that someone took the time to do the research but the statistics tell the story, don't they?  Thanks for posting this!

Aug 12, 2008 11:35 PM #6
Don Rogers
Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield - O'Fallon, MO
Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes

Thank you ma'am for the helpful to use and not use.  Like you I am off to check on my word use.  Have a GREAT day.

Aug 13, 2008 12:18 AM #7
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Katerina:  Thanks so much!  GO CHRIS PHELPS!

Shannon:  LOL!  I LOVE the word 'groovy'!  (Can you tell I'm a 70's girl!)  As for 'fabulous,'  I probably OVERUSE that word!  I'll see what I can find out!!!

Randy:  Thanks!  I had to re-word a couple of mine too! 

Adam:  Well thank you so much!  I've got to go check out the new group when I get a moment! I had no idea that there was such a 'research' project either but, I guess that they'll find anything to research!

Debe in Charlotte

Aug 13, 2008 12:42 AM #8
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Gita:  You know, I'm the same way and I always try to write my ads to be pleasing to the reader so that they'll want to look too!

Leesa:  You know they'll do research on ANYTHING!  I have often wondered about certain words but, never thought to seek out whether there was any research on it or not!  There's an opinion on everything, isn't there?!!

Don:  HA!  It took me about 1/2 second to get out and check out the words that I use in my ads too!  ANYTHING if it helps!!!

Debe in Charlotte

Aug 13, 2008 02:12 AM #9
Kelly Sibilsky
Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD. - Lake Zurich, IL

I remember reading this a few months (or was it weeks?) ago and thinking that maybe the "beautiful" home was really beautiful (thus the higher sale price). But of course, that won't explain "motivated" now will it? Smart agents should choose their words wisely! :)

Aug 13, 2008 03:08 AM #10
Mary Strang
Viroqua, WI

I wonder how the study was actually done, as it seems impossible to really get a true answer from most buyers, ooops did I really say that, LOL

Aug 13, 2008 03:13 AM #11
Ilyce Glink
Think Glink Media - Chicago, IL
Best-selling author, award-winning TV/radio host.

So interesting how important these sort of 'buzz words' are. Every word has a conotation for people and it is interesting to look at what price can be put on that connotation. Great post!

Aug 13, 2008 09:37 AM #12
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Kelly:  Absolutely!  ALWAYS choose your words wisely!! ;-)

Mary:  Same here!  I have no idea how it was done but, you are so right--it's impossible to get a 'good' answer from them sometimes!!

Ilyce:  Thanks!  I'm wondering if we can find out if the word 'beautiful' has the same conotation to men and women!

Debe in Charlotte

Aug 13, 2008 09:54 AM #13
Konnie Mac McCarthy
McLean, VA
Associate Broker - VA & MD

this is brilliant..but how did you gather this data, very cool...I'll think about my "flowery" language next time I post a listing

Aug 19, 2008 01:17 PM #14
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Konnie:  Thanks!  I found it on MSN after reading an article in our local paper about it.  I checked my listings and I had some of those negative terms in the description that I previously thought would help grab the attention of investors--I don't want low-ball offers on homes that are already priced to sell!!

Debe in Charlotte

Aug 19, 2008 11:36 PM #15
Larry Atkins
State Wide Realty Co. - Farmville, VA

Your post has some great points. I'll definitely be checking my ads for negative terms.

Mar 11, 2010 04:45 AM #16
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