What are the Keywords Your Buyers Are Using For Your House?

Home Stager

What are the Keywords Your Buyers Are Using For Your House?


When I started blogging, I learned about Keywords or Tags. These carefully chosen words direct search engines to what the searcher is looking for. 

We all utilize keywords of a sort in whatever we do. For example, when we’re out walking and meet someone new, I may “tag” him as tall man with white hair to help me remember him.


Keywords or tags are what we assign to people, places, or things to help us remember them.

So it is only natural that buyers (and agents) assign Keywords to describe a house or room they’ve seen. I know that I’ve used them when I was either looking for a house or staging one. 


For example, here are some keywords buyers might use after seeing a home for sale…


Grandma’s house…one look and you think old. There’s outdated wallpaper and flooring…doilies on the arms of the sofa, and heavy window coverings.



Keep Driving house…You pull up to this house and the curb appeal is so bad you want to drive on by. 



The Hi and Goodbye house…one step inside the house and you want to turn around and walk out. Nothing about the property said, “Please come in.”


The  “Icky” house…it is so dirty or smelly or both… you get my drift. 


The How Much Will This Cost Us House…oh yes, the calculator starts going off in the buyer’s head as they notice deferred maintenance and much-needed repairs. 


Or how about these keywords?

Our Dream Home

The Updated Home

The Move-in Ready Home

The I Want That Kitchen Home

The Let’s Make an Offer Home



If your house is on the market, which keywords will your buyers be using?

Posted by

Kathy Streib
Retired Home Stager
and Interior Redesign

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Comments (21)

Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Kathy... one thing I've noticed about how agents describe their listings is that too often they use what I call "realtoreze" expressions or cutesy expressions that are meaningless to the average buyer. I hate seeing someone describe their home as a "doll house." It screams small and juvenile to me.

May 25, 2023 04:41 AM
Kathy Streib

Nina Hollander, Broker larry and I looked at a house and we labeled it the “put together” house

May 25, 2023 07:29 AM
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

The Let's Make An Offer Home is the one we enjoy hearing Kathy, and SOLD by Larry and Sheila would be another!

May 25, 2023 04:42 AM
Kathy Streib

I agree Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 that’s the keyword you want to hear.

May 25, 2023 07:30 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Kathy. I used "unpack in the morning and entertain tonight" from time to time. Worked well for the right properties. Enjoy your day.

May 25, 2023 04:48 AM
Kathy Streib

That's a good one Wayne Martin and you're right...it's perfect for move-in ready properties. 

May 25, 2023 03:40 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Kathy Streib ,

You chose an interesting topic this morning! Key words buyers are using to search for homes. I often as buyers what they are using and some are using open floor plan, primary bed down, office, updates, remodeled kitchen etc.

May 25, 2023 05:08 AM
Kathy Streib

Dorie Dillard Austin TX I remember looking at a home and all I could think of was "the to be demolished" home. 

May 25, 2023 03:54 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I admit I've categorized some homes in my mind and it's usually because they were memorable for the wrong reasons. "The Must Buy Now Home" is the one we hope to see!

May 25, 2023 05:34 AM
Kathy Streib

Kat Palmiotti exactly!  When we walk out and the tags that we place on them are negative, it's going to be a hard sale. 

May 25, 2023 03:55 PM
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have heard some interesting keywords used by buyers over the years when looking at homes, haha.  Hey, if I were in San Antonio, would you make the drive to have lunch with me or nah?

May 25, 2023 05:41 AM
Brian England

Nothing is solid right now, but I might have reason to travel to San Antonio in the near future and I will definitely let you know Kathy Streib 

May 25, 2023 03:58 PM
Kathy Streib

Hi Brian England it depends!!!   Let me know. 

May 25, 2023 03:56 PM
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

Good morning, Kathy..
How about the: This doesn't look anything like the pictures house?  That's usually not a good thing.

May 25, 2023 05:47 AM
Kathy Streib

Carol Williams that's a good one!!!  And I wonder how often that's heard!!!

May 25, 2023 03:57 PM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Kathy and keywords are so important and we all use them a different way.  Great blog by you once again.

May 25, 2023 06:54 AM
Kathy Streib

Thank you very much Will Hamm I use them a lot when we meet people on our walks. It's a way to remember who they are. 

May 25, 2023 03:58 PM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

Great information regarding key words. Thanks for sharing, enjoy your Memorial Day weekend. Bill

Salvatore Arizona Elite Properties.

May 25, 2023 07:06 AM
Kathy Streib

Hi Bill Salvatore - East Valley Thank you. Hope you're ready for a good weekend. 

May 25, 2023 03:59 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Kathy, it is interesting to hear what our clients called different homes, and some are definitely not very complimentary.

May 25, 2023 07:54 AM
Kathy Streib

Joan Cox those keywords tell us what the buyers see and that's important. 

May 25, 2023 04:02 PM
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi Kathy Streib. Keywords are very useful for describing properties. I remember once using the term, "Don't Buy an Ugly House" until you contact me. That was when I was selling a lot of foreclosed properties that needed lots of loving care. 

May 25, 2023 08:14 AM
Kathy Streib

Hi Jerry Newman Oh thos poor ugly houses!!!

May 25, 2023 04:03 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Kathy,

These "tags" are so true.  I certainly don't want one of my listings to have anything but "My dream home", but you never know exactly what a buyer might tag your listing as.  

May 25, 2023 08:23 AM
Kathy Streib

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® no one wants to hear the unflattering tags of "smelly house' or "dirty" house but it is what it is. 

May 25, 2023 04:05 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is a very good reminder to share with home sellers and their listing agents.

May 25, 2023 11:36 AM
Kathy Streib

Thank you Roy Kelley Hello to Chef Dolores. 

May 25, 2023 04:05 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Kathy I never gave much thought to the use of key words to describe homes, but it makes sense.

May 25, 2023 04:14 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Your description for "Grandma's House," makes me want to redo my home, Kathy.  I have the lace curtains and the doilies, that I should have put away years ago.  However, my grandkids love this house, and when I speak of changes, they veto it.  Fortunately, I won't be selling.  They will need to carry me out of here in a box.  But, I will remind them to dispense with the lace and doilies, when they settle my estate.🙃

May 25, 2023 07:57 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Kathy, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

May 25, 2023 08:00 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Kathy key words are important, I use them View Lots, Panoramic Views and the list goes on and on, Ensre

May 25, 2023 11:13 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

The description, fresh and updated appeals to the masses, rustic, not so much unless it's a mountain cabin in the wooded forest. Enjoyed this post Kathy, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

May 26, 2023 07:33 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

We had code names for every house we looked at when we were house hunting. 

Man Cave house, horror film house, murder in the basement, cat lady. Polly wants a cracker was what we called the house with the parrot in a cage on the kitchen table.

May 27, 2023 04:42 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Love this post, Kathy Streib. When showing homes, we always have a nickname to differentiate each home. Those tag words really help when you've seen more than a few properties.

May 27, 2023 08:29 PM