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Copywriter for Real Estate Listings, Property Descriptions

10 Tips for Writing MLS Copy & Real Estate Ads That Sell


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real estate listing
Promote your new real estate listing with well-written descriptions on MLS, social media and other real estate websites

You’re a realtor who’s just landed a fabulous listing. It’s the kind of home you know will easily sell and at a great price. Now you just need to get the word out.

Promoting your new listing begins with writing good copy for MLS, the number one source for buyers searching for a new home. Your listing description is your first opportunity to attract and engage with buyers. Sure you can simply create a summary of features, but why be bland when you can be grand?

Listing descriptions need colorful words to paint a clear mental picture of a home’s features and benefits, over and above the accompanying photographs. Therefore, first-rate copywriting is a must.

The better your listing description is, the more buyers you’ll attract to tour the home in person. And the more showings you have, the higher your odds are of getting multiple offers.

attract more buyers
A carefully crafted description will attract more buyers to tour the home.

The basic structure for writing real estate listing descriptions, according to Real Estate Express is:

  • Headline
  • Opening statement
  • Narrative description of features
  • Special promotion
  • Call to action

You’ll want to use words that increase value and decrease selling time. A well-written description creates FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) for buyers. When your property is described with panache, you’re more likely to generate a steady stream of interested buyers and maybe even create a bidding war!

Here are 10 tips to help you create your MLS listing description and real estate ads.

home buyers
Choose words that make home buyers feel they’re missing out if they don’t consider your property.

1. Create a Picture with Your Words

Your description needs to spark emotion for buyers to consider a visit. Craft a visual image that helps buyers see themselves living in this home.

Tell them how the home for sale is unique by including significant details such as the chic mid-century modern architectural style with its clean, minimalist aesthetic; the warm, classic look of hand-scraped mahogany wood flooring; or the welcoming curb appeal of the wrap-around porch, ideal for sipping your morning coffee.

“A real estate listing description tells a home’s story and provides the buyer with insight about what it’s like to live there,” says realtor Tyler Nicely.

2. Imagine the Buyer

Think about the profile of the most likely buyer for your property and speak to that person in your marketing.

Is the home perfect for a hip single professional seeking a trendy urban home that’s a five-minute walk to Whole Foods? Would it be the perfect starter home for a young couple beginning to build their family? Or would a couple of empty nesters find this one-story home close to area doctors perfect for their retirement years?

When you have your buyer in mind, you can focus on the desires and dreams of that segment of the population. Use keywords you think they might use in their search for a property. Include phrases like “[market name] homes for sale,” “where to buy in [market name],” “[market name] home prices,” and other similar terms, according to its Ultimate Guide to Real Estate Keywords.

a descriptive picture
While photos are important, so is a description that paints a picture in the buyer’s mind.

3. Think Upscale

Phrases most commonly associated with high ticket real estate make a property sound desirable. Words like luxurious, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, classic, prime, sophisticated, captivating, impeccable, landscaped and built-to-last are proven effective.

Conversely stay away from phrases like “motivated seller,” which sounds desperate, especially when you can instead say “all offers considered.”

4. Show Your Excitement

Let your enthusiasm for this property shine through. Pretend you’re describing it to a friend who you know would love it.

Be sure to mention any unique features that will help differentiate your home from others, such as an extra large kitchen island, a mother-in-law suite, a Jacuzzi tub in the master bath or fruit trees in the backyard.

Feel free to use the occasional exclamation point, subhead or caps. Just don’t go overboard in your description. Too much of a good thing is annoying.

5. Don’t Over-Hype

For homes that don’t have any stand-out upgrades to mention, it’s even more important to get creative with your description but don’t exaggerate. Most people can see right through b.s.

Nonetheless, you can present features in their best light. A tiny home isn’t small; it’s cozy. Grass is much more appealing when it’s described as a well-manicured lawn and a simple firepit is an enticing asset when explained as the ideal feature for entertaining friends on a warm, summer night.

No matter how simple or ordinary a home is, you can still make the description magical without overselling its features.

choose the right phrases
Help the buyer imagine living in your home by choosing the right phrases.

6. Do Name Drop

Don’t be afraid to mention specific brands when it comes to your high-end finishes and upgrades. Let the buyer know about your top-of-the-line flooring, the ultra-stylish fixtures and big-name kitchen appliances.

If you’re fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood where celebrities have homes, a little name-dropping can go a long way. This is a tactic frequently used in markets like Miami and Los Angeles. Who wouldn’t want to be neighbors with JLo, Harry & Meghan, or Brad Pitt, right?

7. Tell Stories

Are the views spectacular? Describe what you can see.

Is the location highly desirable? Explain its appeal.

Is the home a short sale or foreclosure and therefore underpriced?

Does the kitchen have granite countertops or a farmhouse sink? Describe how wonderful it will be to entertain.

Provide the buyer with insight into why the house is for sale and what living there will be like.

property listings
Some of the most effective property listings weave the facts into appealing stories.

“Investing the time in building a compelling story will hyper-charge all aspects of your marketing downstream, from your ads to your social media and PR,” according to Proven Partners, which markets luxury real estate.

Real estate listings are just facts strung together. Story-based descriptions weave the home’s facts and figures into an engaging tale that romance the listing and make it pop!

8. Talk About the Area

When someone purchases a home, they’re buying into a specific area. The buyer wants to know what’s special about your listing’s location. Are the schools well-ranked and within walking distance? Is the area up and coming? How convenient is it to a major airport?

Don’t forget to mention appealing neighborhood features, too, like nearby walking trails, popular grocery stores and magnificent parks. Those amenities can help tip the scales of real estate in your favor.

property listings
Your property listings should include details about the neighborhood and surrounding area.

9. Up the Ante

Use words like updated, upgraded, move-in ready, remodeled to perfection and lovingly maintained, which signal to the buyer the home is turnkey and they won’t have to invest a lot in renovations after the purchase.

“Move-in ready” is what many buyers want to hear. What a gift it is to know, “All the work has been done for you.”

10. Be Original

While you may be tempted to use the same wording you see other real estate agents using in their property descriptions, that’s not the best way to get noticed. Don’t make your listing sound like everyone else’s. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to be more creative and imaginative. It is worth the extra effort. So open up that trusty thesaurus.

home search
Most buyers start their search for a home on the internet. Make sure your ad captures their attention.

The 2018 Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers states that “51% of buyers found the home they purchased on the internet.” And according to the National Association of Realtors, “Among buyers who used the internet during their home search, 85% found detailed information about properties for sale very useful.”

UpNest, which helps match home sellers with realtors, says that all too often sellers neglect asking real estate agents about their ability to write listing descriptions.

“You’ve cleaned up, decluttered, depersonalized, done some staging, and taken amazing photos. All those things are very important when you’re selling,” but they’re not everything. When you interview agents, “you should ask them for examples of previous listing descriptions they wrote.”

MLS listing
No matter how great the photos, a run-of-the-mill description that lacks enthusiasm will detract from your listing.

The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials estimates there are about 2 million active real estate licensees in the United States. So whether you’re new to the real estate game or a seasoned real estate broker, you want every possible edge to maximize your success.

Advertising on third-party sites such as Zillow, Realtor.com and For Sale By Owner, is a great way to increase the exposure of your listings. Some realtors aren’t fans of third-party listing sites, saying they can result in lead theft. But others find they’re able to sell more homes.

“Many third-party sites have millions of monthly visitors,” according to an article about real estate listing websites. “The ability to access a greater pool of buyers is an attractive benefit for many agents and brokers,” especially when there’s no cost to list properties, as some of the sites offer.

Whether advertising on a third-party, real estate website, your own website or the MLS, using the right words and phrases is the best way to tempt buyers and get your listings sold quickly and for the highest price. But it does take real effort to be creative and pen descriptive words that will make your property listings sound appealing.

selling prices
The right words and phrases tempt buyers and increase selling prices.

Many realtors don’t have the time or experience to write descriptions. A real estate copywriter can take on that task for you, get the job done quickly, and make a significant difference in the way buyers perceive your property listings.

Invest in professional copywriting, and you’re destined to see a substantial return in the reduced time on market and increased price of the properties you sell.

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Contact Susan Greene

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