If you’re in the process of putting your home on the market, your real estate professional should complete the task of creating a For Sale listing for you. As a real estate expert, a Realtor should be well-versed in how to effectively create this listing to gain the most exposure. However, if you’re selling your home on your own or want to increase marketing efforts by creating your own For Sale listings on different websites, you will need to produce an eye-catching description.
When you peruse active For Sale listings, it may be obvious which descriptions are effective and which have missed the mark. If you want to gain traction on your home listing, it’s important to highlight the features of your home and provide key information to readers. Before you post a listing, review this list of common mistakes to avoid, to ensure your home will sell quickly and at a high price point.
Using Bland Language
If you’ve read home listings on sales websites in the past, you’re probably familiar with the usual language used in these advertisements. The same few descriptions are used over and over to describe many homes, including phrases such as:
- Move-in ready
These neutral words don’t tell the reader anything about the home and are generic. Using bland language like this doesn’t draw the reader in or paint a picture of the unique features of your home. By finessing the language and using more engaging words in your listing, you can attract more readers who are curious about your property.
Descriptive words are better at enticing a reader and keeping his or her attention. Listings will usually only provide a specific amount of space for a description, so it’s important to use each character wisely. The following words offer more bang for their buck:
Uploading Dark Photos
With so much information on the internet, it can be hard to keep a viewer’s attention. Most browsers glance at the first photo on a For Sale listing and make their minds up about a home in an instant. The photos you use in a listing are, therefore, incredibly important for keeping a viewer’s attention. Photos that are too dark, unflattering or blurry will turn a viewer off, even if your house is beautiful.
Before taking photos of your home, turn on all lights, open blinds for natural light and clear off all countertops. Take a moment to survey the frame and ensure the area you’re photographing looks tidy and light. Depending on the website, you may be allowed to upload a maximum of five to 25 photos. Plan out which photos you will upload before taking them. Include the important areas of the home that have the best features, such as the kitchen or large storage closet.
Your first photo is the most important, since it is what will determine if the viewer keeps reading about your home. Use a beautiful and bright photo of the front of the home. If you have access to photo editing software, you may need to use it to brighten up your images and ensure your home looks as good as it can.
Leaving out Amenities
Even if you are not given a lot of space for the description of your home, your listing should still mention all amenities. While you should paint a picture of your home for the reader with language that flows well, it’s also important to highlight practical features your home offers. Don’t get so caught up in flowery language that you forget to include important points, such as:
- The family-friendly neighborhood.
- Your stainless-steel appliances.
- The two-year old roof.
- Your energy efficient dishwasher.
These are selling points that should be included. Additionally, if the community your home is located in offers a community pool or golf course, these amenities should also be mentioned. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and think about what would be important to you if you were going to move into a new home.
If you’ve lived in your home for a while, the amenities it offers may not feel so special anymore, and it’s easy to forget how excited you were about different features of your home when you first moved in. This makes it harder for you to relate to what would stand out or be important to a person reading your listing. To help with this, speak with your friends or family members who have visited your home and ask about the features they noticed most. Compile a list of amenities that impress you visitors so you know what’s important to include in the description.
Creating a Confusing Listing Structure
An online listing viewer will only give you a few seconds of his or her time. In these seconds, he or she will skim over the listing description and look at the home’s first photo to decide whether to dedicate more time to the home or not. The structure of your listing and its readability will determine if the reader can glean enough information about your home in those crucial seconds to give it another look. If a website allows you the space to structure your listing how you see fit, take the time to ensure it is easy to read at a glance.
Your listing structure should include key elements to draw in the eye of a browsing internet user. These elements include:
- Headline: Descriptive, enticing words in bold or large font.
- Opening Statement: A few key features of the home that will draw the reader in.
- Description: Describe features with unique language. Use bullet points for better readability, if possible.
- Call to Action: Tell the reader what to do if he or she wants more information.
This organized listing structure makes it easier for the reader to follow, and he or she is left with a full description of the home and what to do next if interested. By breaking the description into small paragraphs and utilizing a different font for the headline, you also draw in the reader’s eye. This makes it easier for the reader to skim through the information quickly while still holding his or her attention.
Your home’s for sale listing is an important part of the marketing process. A listing that is well thought out, structured correctly and accompanied by bright photos can gain you good traffic in the market. Avoid the above mistakes when creating your listing and you’ll be sure to increase interest in your home!