First impressions are everything, even when it comes to your property’s online listing. The first thing potential buyers will notice is the price. Then they’ll browse through the photos. Finally, they will dig into the details. The good news is, if they’ve reached this stage, you’ve caught their attention. The bad news? A poorly written listing description could leave your reader feeling uninspired and moving on to find a better match… with someone else’s property.
By using storytelling to showcase your home’s finest features, you can stand out from the competition and help a buyer picture life there. Here are some things to keep in mind as you craft your story:
Structure. You’d have a logical path when taking a visitor on a tour of your home, so your listing should have a sense of flow, too! Welcome your reader into your listing like you would your home before jumping right into the key features to set the tone. Then lead them through your home, describing highlights within each room as you go. Include primary features such as square footage and overall property size; the number of bedrooms and bathrooms; living spaces; storage spaces (such as a garage, basement, shed, etc.); as well as any unique features (think indoor-outdoor living spaces, fireplaces, a pool, etc.) Don’t forget to include the things that a reader can’t see (for instance, how much sunlight a room gets; if your home has heated flooring or central air; what the neighbourhood is like; proximity to schools or urban centers) or the power of potential. Noting room for expansion or the possibilities within each space (a smaller bedroom could be “perfect for a home office or playroom”) can help a reader visual how each room could be used. Also be sure to mention anything that could help save your buyer money: energy-saving appliances or renovation upgrades, sustainable materials used throughout the home, etc.
Finish off with a call to action that includes a sense of urgency, like “Don’t let this stunning property slip away. Schedule your private viewing today!”
Be short, sweet, and specific. It’s ok to name-drop when it comes to finishing details, upgrades, appliances, and smart tech – in fact, you should – but listings need to pack a punch to keep a reader’s attention. Keep yours under 250 words by focusing on the highlights within each room and consider using bullet points for general features that aren’t included elsewhere in your listing (like in the “Property Details”.)
Choose your words carefully. Avoid words with negative connotations like small, cramped, outdated and old. Instead, remain truthful but consider words that call to mind a different feeling – cozy, intimate, or classic, for instance. Consider how you’d feel reading “A great starter home, this tiny, old fixer-upper is in need of some serious TLC” versus “This cozy home has the strong bones necessary to make the leap into the 21st century, while the original crown moulding offers an elegant nod to its past that is simply timeless, no matter what your style.” Other keywords that help buyers see the potential in a property include sustainable, adaptable, minimalistic, turnkey, lovingly maintained, and inviting.
Keep the ideal buyer in mind. Who would buy your home? Speak to them! For instance, if you know your home is destined for a flip, don’t hide it – be upfront that it needs work and would be perfect for someone looking to modernize and customize their dream home. Don’t waste your or your buyer’s time with false hope.
Stand out! Don’t be afraid to get creative (while remaining factual). Invoke a feeling: What does it feel like to live here? Storytelling is the difference between “This house has a big, back yard and a patio” and “Step out into the sprawling landscaped yard, perfect for hosting summer cookouts, or snuggle up on the partially covered patio and unwind with a glass of wine while watching the sunset.”
Grammar and spelling count so double-check your work before posting.
Never underestimate the power of beautiful photography combined with an enchanting copy to persuade a potential buyer to pick up their phone. All it takes is a little imagination and thoughtful wordsmithing to present your home in the best light, so give it a try!