If you're listing descriptions look anything like the ones below which, FYI are real property descriptions that I pulled from the “Reduced Recently” list on my local MLS 🤔, then you definitely should not be skipping this part.
Truthfully, if I listed my house with an agent and then checked the MLS and found those sorry excuses for listing descriptions, I would fire that agent so fast.
It's just plain ol'lazy.
I've actually gained a client who sold and bought with me because of a listing description that I wrote on one of my listings. She literally called me up and said that she loved the way I wrote about the property and that she wanted me to represent the sale of her home.
She literally called me up and said, “I love the way you wrote about your new new listing and I want you to sell my home and help me buy another.”
That particular listing she called me about was a $110,000 home that just about needed a full remodel, so it's not like it was fancy or anything.
In fact, the reason I did work a little extra harder on that listing description was because of the condition of the property and how it looked. And smelled.
That client ended up telling me that she chose me because if I put that much creativity and effort into a lower-end home then she knew I would work just as hard if not harder to sell her home. Which happened to sell for almost $350,000.
On top of her $300,000 purchase, that was a great client all from a few sentences…
So that's pretty damn cool. How many agents can honestly tell you that they got business from a listing description?
The property listing description is one of the most overlooked and underutilized aspects of a listing's overall impression, so take the time to ask some friends or peers to take a look at it and give some feedback.
I know the curiosity is killing you, so here's the listing description that made me $19,500.
Aside from sexy listing photos, a colorful property description is your most powerful marketing tool. Let the buyer's imagination run wild and have them envisioning themselves living in the home before they even see it.
Your listings deserve some love.
- If you don’t have fun with this, you’ll never do it well. Each time you sit down to write a listing description, think of it as a little story you are telling to the person who is going to buy this house.
- The listing writing function is part of your overall selling process. Taking a little extra time to write it well will be a productive use of your time.
- Build this process into your normal checklist of things you do to sell a home and market yourself.
- Give yourself some time. Set a timer with a specific number of minutes if needed.
- Good writing reinforces your brand.
Good writing serves your business.
- Being efficient with wording is effective in getting the right message to the right people
- Professional writers talk about finding their voice. The voice of your writing will sound a lot like your speaking voice.
- Find the right words to get the job done in each situation. Find what style and organization in writing works for you.
- Interplay with your social media posts
What’s the story?
- Take notes and photos of key features when first visiting the home.
- What is compelling?
- What would make a good opening for the listing?
- Get a video testimonial from the seller. Hear from someone that’s already in love with the home:
- What made them buy the home?
- What do they like most about the home now?
- What will they miss most about the home?
- Your description should tell the story of why a buyer would want to see this house, or even better, live in it.
- Before you write, think. What are the best elements of this house? What are my takeaways?
Putting pen to paper.
- Set the scene so a person reading the listing feels like they are there.
- Put the best material at the beginning of the copy.
- Start with the most appealing and most important details. Use that first line to draw the buyer in. Editors use the inverted pyramid technique, in which the top of the story has the most important material.
- Be specific. Someone may learn right away from your listing description that they have no interest in the property. Great! This home obviously isn’t for them. Most importantly, you’ll attract people that are looking for exactly what you have.
- Use precise, specific adjectives, not frilly ones (no fabulous, great, gorgeous, etc.) and drop the extraneous, such as too many asterisks or exclamation points. That is equivalent to clutter in a room. Let your detailed description do the talking.
- Focus on the parts of this house that cannot be (easily) changed. Game room, garage, location, good for gardening, cooking, spa bath, etc.
- What special element of the home must be included? Is it something you can get into that first line in the listing? The property details are already included and don’t need to be repeated.
- Proofread your copy backward. Read the last sentence first, then the second to last sentence, and so on. Don’t rely on spellcheck.