Today is National Proofreading Day

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Celebrated each year on March 8, National Proofreading Day is a reminder to proofreading protects your credibilitystrive for error-free writing.

Everyone makes typos, grammar mistakes, and spelling errors, so proofreading is vital.

Typos, grammar errors, and spelling mistakes make us look bad.

Mistakes make us look unprofessional. Our words are a representation of ourselves, and mistakes say we either don't know much, or we're too lazy or sloppy to check our own work.

I'll admit, proofreading what you wrote isn't easy. You KNOW what  you said, so it's easy to miss mistakes. If you can get a friend to read what you wrote before you send it out into the world, do it.

And if you want to BE a friend, offer to proofread someone else's work.

"Six seconds is all it takes to catch a customer’s attention upon opening up your internet portal. Imagine if in that first six seconds the first thing she’ll notice are the spelling errors?"  (from

And since agents represent the brokerage...

If you happen to be a broker or manager, it would be a good practice to offer to proofread your agents' work.

If you know your grammar or spelling skills are lacking - take time to learn!

If there are words you often have to look up, or if someone is constantly telling you about your grammar errors, it's time for some study.

Real estate agents seem to have a set of commonly used grammar and spelling errors. You see them repeatedly in blog posts and in the letters they send out. That's why I wrote a Grammar Guide for Real Estate Agents. (If you need it, get your copy today!)

Looking bad is only part of the problem. Errors can also cost big dollars.

The first recorded lawsuit stemming from a proofreading error dates back to 1631, when a reprint of the King James Bible had an error that resulted in a huge lawsuit and damages to the publisher.

And such lawsuits are not uncommon today. Just a little research led me to these two websites:

The story at is about a real estate agent who complained about his former workplace on Facebook. Had he proofread his words, he might have realized that he left out an apostrophe. And then he might not have landed in court.

That article also references the missing comma that cost a trucking company $5 million.

This article:  lists a good number of lawsuits, some of which cost the lazy writers millions:

If you're selling property that was divided prior to today's strict regulations...

I once ran into a situation that could have led to a lawsuit. Fortunately, I was able to find the people involved and get a deed corrected before it was too late. In this case, a couple had sold half of their 5 acre lot, but wrote the legal description themselves. They just said "the E 1/2 of..." and copied their description. Unfortunately, that description included a semicolon and something along the lines of "Less the W. 30' thereof, which is County right-of-way."

No one noticed that error until we listed the property that was that East half. When we called for a preliminary title report, the title agent saw it immediately. He also drew up the papers to correct it. It took 3 trips back to see the original seller (the husband had since passed away) to get her to understand, but we finally got it done. 

If you copy legal descriptions when you take listings or write offers, be careful! Check your work. Then check it again!

Comments (21)

John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello Marte Cliff thank you for the reminder. The International Proofreading Day is a helpful day to celebrate.

Mar 08, 2023 05:26 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Kathy Streib - I appreciate your support!

John Pusa - It's a good reminder, but important every day.

Mar 08, 2023 06:23 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Marte Cliff  great post on a side note I thought it was International Women's Day? Personally, I find that we went overboard with every day being a "something day":)Endre

Mar 08, 2023 06:37 PM
Marte Cliff

Endre Barath, Jr. Just for fun, I looked to see if there was a national day to honor our naughty dog - an Airedale Terrier. No, there isn't one specifically for Airedales, but National Terrier Day is March 27.

There's something for everyone!

Mar 11, 2023 08:40 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Marte. Must say, with computer self correct, I find to more necessary to proofread. The computer has a mini of its own and my fingers don't always get it right. The combination can do some horrible things. Enjoy your day.

Mar 09, 2023 04:15 AM
Marte Cliff

Yes, Wayne Martin - if you aren't careful, auto-correct will really mess up your writing.

Mar 11, 2023 08:41 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Marte... not proof-reading and publishing sloppy material does make one look bad. People notice. And these days it's so easy to double-check spelling and grammar on-line... why do people not do it?

Mar 09, 2023 04:43 AM
Marte Cliff

Nina Hollander, Broker I believe the answer to that is that some people sincerely believe that grammar and spelling don't matter.

Mar 11, 2023 08:42 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I double check everything and still have some mistakes. Proofreading is sooo important!

Mar 09, 2023 04:54 AM
Marte Cliff

Kat Palmiotti So do I. Proofreading your own work is the most difficult, because you know what you said, so "see" it as if it were correct.

Mar 11, 2023 08:43 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Marte - I remain a work in progress.  Proofreading-wise and in all sorts of other ways.  

Mar 09, 2023 05:37 AM
Marte Cliff

Michael Jacobs - as are well all. At least, hopefully.

Mar 11, 2023 08:43 AM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I try to proofread everything that I write but it seems most of the time I later found that I missed some mistakes that I made, haha.

Mar 09, 2023 05:57 AM
Marte Cliff

Brian England At least when you make the effort you catch most of them. I'm always grateful when someone writes to alert me to a mistake in a blog post.


Mar 11, 2023 08:45 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Eye m sow glod that their iz an F-fort under weigh two precent are finished werk iz sue fish ant .

Mar 09, 2023 06:41 AM
Marte Cliff

I wish I had an imagination like yours, Michael J. Perry 

Mar 11, 2023 08:48 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Marte,
Interesting post. I hadn't thought about the lawsuit aspect. Punctuation truly matters.

Mar 09, 2023 08:28 AM
Marte Cliff

Carol Williams I hadn't thought about that aspect either - until I started reading about it. Incorrect punctuation can cause serious issues.

Mar 11, 2023 08:49 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Marte,

People notice when punctuation is inaccurate! I also remain a work in progress on proof reading. I try and look at it several times. Thank you for a great post!

Mar 09, 2023 11:06 AM
Marte Cliff

Thanks Dorie Dillard Austin TX - hopefully we are all a work in progress.

Mar 11, 2023 08:50 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

It is important to do the very best you can in all things. Grammar is so important but alas, it is becoming a thing of the past for our younger generation.

Mar 10, 2023 01:58 PM
Marte Cliff

Dr. Paula McDonald Yes, so how will they ever understand each other? Clear communication can be difficult even when we make a good effort. With no effort, we can expect chaos!

Mar 11, 2023 08:51 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Auto check does create unexpected problems. Yes copy writing and hence copy proofing appears to be a lost art especially by journalists.

Mar 11, 2023 09:06 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Leanne Smith So true! Journalists seem to be especially good at using misplaced modifiers. Sometimes I have to read a sentence over a couple of times to figure out what they meant.

I guess that's OK when you're just telling a story (not really, but...) but if you're trying to convey a message to a prospect's brain, confusing them destroys the effort.

Mar 11, 2023 09:42 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Mar 11, 2023 06:30 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thank you Kathy Streib! I always appreciate being included in your posts.

Mar 11, 2023 07:26 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Marte, for sharing your experience and advice.

Those of us in the advanced seniors category need to be extra careful to avoid 'senior moments' as we write.

Mar 12, 2023 07:19 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Roy Kelley We do need to watch out for those - but I think I've been having those moments my whole life!

Mar 12, 2023 08:51 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Great advice for National Proofreading Day, Marte. But obviously we should be careful about proofreading EVERY day, or have someone else help with this! It's so easy to make little mistakes that can send the wrong message to readers - in our posts, in our listings, our flyers, etc.


Mar 12, 2023 08:24 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Yes, Jeff Dowler, CRS, every day should be proofreading day. Mistakes are far too easy to make. 

It sometimes amazes me that I find a mistake in my copy only after I've gone through it 2 or 3 times.

Mar 12, 2023 08:48 PM