Three Tips for Writing a Great Listing Description

Services for Real Estate Pros with BRE# 01392374

The most successful Realtors® write the best listing descriptions. This is an art and a science. Even when you’re good at it, you need to strive to keep learning.

You may be great in person. You may connect with people from the get-go and showcase the best a property has to offer. But, if your listing descriptions are weak, you’re robbing yourself of the chance to shine.

So let’s take a look at 3 things you need to know about writing the perfect listing description. 

1. Know the words that sell

Know what your buyers want to hear, and say it to them.

Buyers like to hear things like trusted name brands for appliances. They want to hear something that sounds great, without seeming too good to be true.

Here are some keywords that sell houses:

  • Beautiful: It’s commonly used for a reason. It strikes an emotional chord with your reader.
  • Granite: You already know what a key selling point granite counter tops are. Lead with them!
  • Hardwood: Same as for Granite.
  • Fixer Upper: This may turn off some buyers. But people looking for a steal or investment really respond to the value this presents. Use it carefully, since it doesn't encourage top dollar for your seller.

Don’t forget to sell the area, as well. Use your local knowledge to sell the proximity to local lakes, attractions, or amenities.

2. Know the words that don’t sell:

At the same time, it’s just as important to know what words send buyers immediately to the next listing.

  • Must Sell or Motivated Seller: You might be trying to convey a great price to your reader, but it smells of desperation. You won't get the top dollar your seller is looking for with this statement.
  • Clean: I should hope so. Is there really no other high point of the home you could highlight?
  • Vacant: The word vacant makes it sound like the house has been abandoned, or has been on the market for a long time for some reason. It's a major turnoff for buyers.

3. Sell a lifestyle, not a home

You don’t want the reader to try to picture the home. You want them to picture themselves living there. Happily, of course.

Ian Grace gave some really great advice on how to do this in a RealtorMag article. He said, “It is vitally important to understand that you are not selling a house. What you are selling is living there.”

“You see, that is the picture prospective buyers have in their mind — living in their new home, which may have an extra bedroom or two, so the kids can have their own space and privacy and the resultant family harmony. Or perhaps the extra entertaining areas, where both parents and their children can host their friends at the same time, but separately.”

Of course, this isn’t easy to describe. Anybody can list off a house’s specs. But painting a clear and appealing picture for a buyer takes practice and requires you to be one part Realtor® and one part storyteller.

But it’s well worth it to practice your craft. Not only will your listing descriptions shine, but so will your just-listed fliers and open house advertisements. Your results will quickly show you that your time was well spent. 

Bonus tip: Pay the most attention to your opening and closing

Like any piece of writing, you should spend the most time crafting the beginning and the end.

Your lead and headline have to stand out among the countless other listings. You have such a small window of your readers’ attention. Make it count! If you use any of the advice above, you’re already a step ahead.

Don’t make your closing an afterthought. Make it as easy as possible to get into touch with you to set up an appointment. So don’t send people to your website. Send them to your inbox or cell phone.

What do you think goes into a strong listing description? Let us know in the comments below.

Comments (9)

Pat Champion
John Roberts Realty - Eustis, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

Great post you are right we only have a short time to grab the attention of the Buyer's correct wording can mean everything. Thanks for sharing I hope you have a Merry Christmas.

Dec 24, 2015 01:44 AM
Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Very wise words here...that allure factor is what we are after.  

Dec 24, 2015 01:46 AM
Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Good morning Nadine...your post has come in I'm adding a listing to the MLS this coming Saturday.

Dec 24, 2015 01:58 AM
Nadine Larder - Dublin, CA
Real Estate Marketing Expert/PrinterBees Founder

Pat - absolutely! I had a great holiday, and I hope you did too!

Li - thank you! It's all about allure, and touching the emotions of the buyer.

Ronald - perfect! I wish you amazing success! :-)

Dec 26, 2015 10:51 PM
Cindy Sax
Adolphsen Real Estate - Adna, WA

Love this post! Thanks for sharing. Great tips, and will definately use 

Jan 26, 2016 06:39 AM
Nadine Larder - Dublin, CA
Real Estate Marketing Expert/PrinterBees Founder

Thanks Cindy, I'm so glad you liked it! 

Jan 27, 2016 07:23 AM
Thomas McGiveron
Long Island Real Estate Market: Douglas Elliman - Medford, NY
Thomas McGiveron Lic. R.E. Broker Associate

Great stuff. I would add - what's the one thing in the house that makes it (or could make it) very unique - accent that. think 80/20 rule. 

Sep 17, 2016 09:00 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

I usually write the description I'll place in the MLS out , reread it and tweak it several times !

Sep 21, 2016 11:02 PM
Eileen Begley
Coldwell Banker, DelMonte - Carmel, CA
Monterey Real Estate

Awesome advice! Sometimes I am just at a loss! You are right about selling the lifestyle. I am going to go back and totally rewrite a very boring description on a condo I have listed! Thanks.

Oct 17, 2016 02:49 PM
Nadine Larder

Great! I know you'll get awesome results. 

Oct 18, 2016 08:38 AM