We’ve all seen them. The cheesy, cliched descriptions that some real estate listings contain. Makes you want to reach through your monitor and hit ‘delete’ or ‘spell-check’. Having performed admirably in my youth at spelling bees and grammar, it drives me crazy to read some of the listing descriptions I see. It gives the reader very little confidence that anything is accurate if they can’t spell ‘dining room’ correctly. Add to that the cheesy cliches and you have a cringe-worthy description of your (likely) largest asset for all the world to see.Have you ever seen descriptions in ALL CAPS?!! It’s like the writer is shouting at you. What do you choose as important, when everything is HUGE? It’s fine to highlight a few items in caps, as it’s an easy way to see items the seller wants to emphasize, but STOP YELLING AT ME! What’s a ‘doll house’? I see that written occasionally, and I don’t know if it’s supposed to be cute, or the home is suited to people 10 inches and under. What exactly is a ‘motivated seller’? Isn’t that why they listed in the first place? Or maybe they just like strangers looking through their stuff at dinner time.
Some of my other favourites? Shows 10/10 (huh?) ‘Needs TLC’. To me that’s short for toilets, lights and ceiling. ‘Open House 2-4, Saturday.’ Umm, which Saturday? Or has the writer just forgotten to go back in and delete it? It wouldn’t be the first time people showed up at a open house, only to find it dark and locked, or worse yet, a guy in his velour housecoat at the door, wondering why you’re there. That reminds me, some people need to be taught that ‘their’, they’re’ and ‘there’ are three different words. How about the ‘this won’t last’ warning? It’s been on for 95 days, time to update your claim. Room descriptions can force me to suppress my gag reflex sometimes. ‘Country’, ‘chef’s’ or ‘gourmet’ kitchens abound. Hardwood gleams, master bedrooms are ‘enormous’, yards are ‘park-like’ settings. I’ve seen homes described as being steps from transit and playgrounds, when I know they are at least two blocks away. No one says ‘only 578 steps to the playground’.
So what’s the danger to a seller? To start with, it gives a buyer zero confidence that the agent is being honest about what the property is really like. I’ve shown many homes that the buyer was disappointed with, merely because the description exaggerated more than just a little. There’s nothing wrong with accentuating the positive, just don’t overdo it. Secondly, other agents that are sifting though listings to show their clients might just skip the listing that says it has a large ‘dinning room’ and is located in a ‘quit’ location.
Attention to detal (made you look) is important. So when you’re deciding who should sell your home for you, have a look at their marketing material. I always bring a copy of one of my feature sheets to show how I market homes. Creative writing should be about painting a positive but accurate picture, not a misspelled fairy tale.
Every element of your listing’s marketing matters. If you agree, I’m your guy. ( not ‘you’re guy’).