How to Write Listing Descriptions that Sell
The listing description is an opportunity for agents to highlight the selling points of a home that may not be obvious in accompanying photos. Unfortunately, far too often, the listing description is neglected, or doesn’t pull out the details that will stand out to buyers when they are looking at countless properties.
The description is a great opportunity to paint a picture for buyers of what it would be like to live in a home. Using phrases such as “an entertainer’s dream” and “your own private oasis” are great ways to allow a buyer to imagine their lives in a space. These words are more than a description of the material finishes, they are about the lifestyle that’s possible within each room. The description is also a good spot to go into detail about recent upgrades such as a new roof, flooring, or kitchen and bathroom renovations.
Below we are going to dive into how to organize a listing, how to describe different rooms in a home, home description words that will reach buyers, how to talk about a lot with no structure present, and other important information that you may want to research before you start writing. Follow along to learn how to write a listing description!
Organization and Flow of Listing Description Copy
Highlight the top features of a home in the opening sentence or two to show off what makes the house special. Next, dive into the exterior features, for example: acreage, location, and architectural style. Then take the reader inside of the home and walk through the most notable rooms.
As you describe the space, try to write the copy as if you were a buyer walking through the home for the first time, staying as true as possible to the flow of the house. This will paint a realistic picture of what the buyer will experience as soon as they walk through the door.
A call to action is a great way to close your listing description. Saying, “You won’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind home, call or text today to schedule a showing,” is a great way to encourage potential buyers to reach out about a property.
Listing Description Outline
- Open with a sentence about the top selling factors of a home (i.e. pool, large lot, completely renovated, incredible location)
- Exterior design and lot specifications (i.e. architectural style, acreage, neighborhood)
- Walk through the interior of the home as if you were taking the buyer through the front door (i.e. “Once inside, you are instantly greeted by a grand staircase with an elegant chandelier hanging from the double-height ceiling.”
- List any recent upgrades (i.e. a new roof, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, new HVAC)
- Call to action (i.e. “Give me a call today to schedule a tour of this immaculate property” or “This one will go fast, send me a message to schedule a tour ASAP.”)
Room-by-Room Breakdown: How to Describe Different Rooms in a House with Real Property Description Examples
Kitchens come in all different shapes, sizes, and backsplashes. Kitchen upgrades always stand out to buyers, as the space is typically a main focal point of the home where people gather with their loved ones. Highlight the material of the countertops, stainless steel appliances that are included in the sale, and storage such as a walk-in pantry or ample cabinet space.
Kitchen Listing Description Examples:
- “With a seamless flow from the living area to the chef’s kitchen, the open-concept layout is an entertainer’s dream with ample space to gather.”
- “The galley kitchen is aptly designed with abundant storage, granite countertops, and stainless steel appliances.”
- “Designed to entertain, the kitchen offers a massive center island and sliding doors to the poolside terrace.”
Features to Highlight: Marble/granite/quartz countertops, oversized center islands, storage, stainless steel appliances, walk-in pantries, breakfast nooks/bars, backsplash accents
Adjectives: Chef’s kitchen, gourmet, stunning, state-of-the-art, eat-in, modern, contemporary, open-concept
Living rooms and gathering spaces are often a great canvas to show buyers what their life would look like if they were to live in the home you are describing. This is where people will create memories that last a lifetime, and if you can describe these beautiful moments in a simple line, it can go a long way. As we will discuss below, make sure to follow the fair housing laws in your area in every aspect of the listing description.
Living Room Description Examples:
- “Cozy up by the wood-burning fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate on cold winter nights.”
- “Floor-to-ceiling windows allow light to pour into the space, merging indoor and outdoor living.”
- “The perfect space to gather, the living room is complete with a vaulted ceiling and custom built-ins.”
Features to Highlight: Custom built-ins, light-filled interiors, fireplaces, large windows, French doors, double-height/coffered/vaulted ceilings
Adjectives: Spacious, open-concept, sophisticated, formal
If the home has interior specifications that are worth highlighting, you can include a line about these details before or after you walk through the notable rooms. A few examples of these details are hardwood floors, smart-home features such as automatic blinds or built-in Bluetooth speakers, and custom woodwork.
Interior Description Examples:
- “Designed with the highest quality craftsmanship…”
- “Hardwood floors run throughout the open-concept space.”
- “The home features modern fixtures and finishes throughout.”
Features to Highlight: Hardwood floors, recessed lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows and doors, custom millwork, accent tile
Adjectives: Immaculate, stunning, gorgeous, luxury
Primary Bedrooms/Guest Bedrooms
In case it isn’t obvious in the provided photos, the layout of the bedrooms is helpful for buyers to understand, particularly in two-story homes. Walk-in closets, natural light, spacious rooms, doors to outdoor space, and fireplaces are a sampling of details that attract buyers when they are looking for more information about the bedrooms in a home. If guest bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, or if the first floor offers a powder room, these are great details to highlight in the listing description.
Bedroom Description Examples:
- “The primary bedroom is a secluded oasis with an expansive walk-in closet.”
- “Leave the French doors to the bedroom’s private terrace open to allow the breeze to drift inside.”
- “The primary bedroom is conveniently located on the first floor while the second level features two en-suite bedrooms.”
Features to Highlight: Large closets, en-suite bathrooms, private balconies/terraces
Adjectives: Private, spacious, peaceful, luxurious
Bathroom upgrades also stand out to buyers, as it is one of the areas that instantly dates a home. If a buyer sees that the bathrooms have been recently remodeled, they know that is going to save them money in repairs and renovations.
Bathroom Description Examples:
- “The spa-like primary bathroom is outfitted with dual vanities, a glass-enclosed shower, and a water closet.”
- “Ideal for guests, each bedroom features an en-suite bathroom.”
- “A powder room is conveniently located off of the living area.”
Features to Highlight: Dual vanities, soaking tubs, glass-enclosed/steam showers, marble/granite/quartz countertops, water closets
Adjectives: Spa-like, private, light-filled, luxury
Now more than ever, people are investing in their backyards and upgrading their outdoor space. If the home you are listing has a big backyard, beautiful landscaping, a basketball/sports court, or a pool and spa, these are major selling factors that should be highlighted in the listing.
Backyard Description Examples:
- “The lush green landscaping has been meticulously maintained.”
- “Enjoy resort-like amenities, including a pool, outdoor kitchen, and space to dine al fresco on warm summer nights.”
Features to Highlight: Acreage, landscaping, pool, outdoor kitchens, ample lawn space
Adjectives: Lush, beautiful, picturesque, resort-style, captivating
Location is another key selling factor that can be highlighted in the listing description. Sometimes the location is seemingly the only exciting feature a house has to offer. Hone in on that positive and describe nearby shopping and restaurants, and make a note of the neighborhood schools if they are highly rated. Call out parks, grocery stores, public transportation options, and other details that show off the convenience of an amazing location.
Location Description Examples:
- “Situated in an incredible location, this home is just a short drive from the city’s finest restaurants and high-end shopping.”
- “This home is ideally located in close proximity to the area’s best schools, convenient grocery stores, and access to public transportation.”
Features to Highlight: Proximity to shopping, schools, restaurants, parks, local attractions, hiking trails, public transportation
Adjectives: Convenient, unrivaled, unparalleled, ideal
How to Describe Areas of a Home that Don’t Appear Very Desirable
Sometimes a house leaves you at a loss for words—and not in a good way. If a house is decked with popcorn ceilings, closed-off rooms, and is in need of some serious upgrades, highlight the potential of the home. Paint a picture of what upgrades could be done to make the home move-in ready. Be honest, and don’t create an unrealistic vision of the property, but see if there are a few unique details that you can extract from the space, even if it is more about the location than the house itself.
Real Property Description Examples:
- “The spacious rooms allow for endless possibilities to make this your dream home.”
- “An incredible location, this home offers 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.”
- “The neighborhood is growing extremely fast.”
How to Describe Lots/Land Without a Structure
If you are selling an empty plot of land with no home or structure, it can feel difficult to find things to talk about that will draw buyers in. Research nearby highways and public transportation, restaurants and shopping in the area, and local attractions. If the property is located in a rural area, focus on the nature that is close by, such as local parks, lakes, nature preserves, and where the closest town is with grocery stores and other practical needs. Be aware of setbacks and building regulations to understand the true capabilities of the lot.
Land Property Description Examples:
- “This lot has the ability to boast an immaculate property.”
- “A blank canvas to design your dream home, this land is capable of yielding a stunning estate.”
MLS Character Count
Make sure to check your local MLS rules for the character limit that is permitted for your listings. Typically, the character count runs between 1,000 to 2,000 characters including spaces. This makes it essential that you include the most relevant information in a limited space. Use abbreviations thoughtfully, and consider if the average reader will understand your terminology without a background in real estate. Other ways to save space in a listing description are to not use the Oxford comma before “and” when listing features, using “&” instead of “and”, as well as prioritizing the important aspects of the home over unnecessary adjectives.
Fair Housing Laws
Before you write the description, look into your area’s fair housing laws to make sure you are following local legislation regarding how you market your real estate listing. Certain phrases such as “perfect for a family” or “walking-distance to great restaurants” can be in violation of these laws as they can be seen as discrimination based on familial status and disability. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, familial status, sex, religion, and disability.
Long-Form Content for Brochures and Websites
If your MLS only allows 1,000 characters and you still have more you would like to say about a listing, expand your copy in a property brochure or website. You can use the additional space to dive into rooms or features that weren’t highlighted in the listing description.
Zillow’s Words that Sell
Zillow offers many resources about listing descriptions, including words that tend to perform better on the site than others. Using their industry data, they have tracked how properties with certain words in their listing descriptions tend to sell for higher or lower than other homes on the market. It is best to use adjectives that show off the house’s beautiful features, rather than words that make a house sound like they will require significant investment after the initial purchase.
Words to Include According to Zillow: Luxurious, captivating, impeccable, stainless, basketball, landscaped, granite, pergola, remodel, beautiful, gentle, spotless, tile, upgraded, updated
Words to Avoid According to Zillow: Fixer, potential, opportunity, investor, bargain
Listing Descriptions Matter
Spending a little extra time to write a quality listing description can go a long way, and it’s definitely worth the effort. Simply showing buyers that you took the time to highlight features that will interest them sets a professional tone for the entire transaction process. Use the real property descriptions above as a template for your own listings. With so many poorly written descriptions on the market, your property is sure to stand out from the crowd. Now you know how to write listing descriptions that pop!
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