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How to Write a Captivating Property Description

Typing real estate property description

Are you looking for how to write a For Sale by Owner property description for your listing that is captivating, and enticing?

Being honest about your property while being short and descriptive gives you a great start to creating an attractive property description. Tell a story, bringing out the things you love the most about your property, while choosing your words wisely.

On your journey to saving thousands on your For Sale by Owner real estate transaction, one of the biggest ways you are creating those savings is by listing your property without a realtor. Most sites today make it super easy to list your property as they walk you through the process. The one area of the listing that people tend to need a little extra help with is the description of their property. After you are done with this quick read, you'll be ready to tackle writing your property description like a pro

Be Truthful

It should go without saying, but honesty is super critical when putting together your real estate listing. Nothing will put off a potential buyer more than believing they have been lied to or misled when deciding to invest in your property. If a buyer believes you haven’t been truthful on the description, what other items are you not telling them about?

Many people realize this and write a paralyzed description of their property. Have you ever witnessed a property listing with a description that read like this? “ 3b/2ba 1,500sq ft home with 25ft pole barn. 2 acres. Built in 1995.” It may be a lazy attempt at writing a description, but it may be that the seller is afraid to share any misleading information about their property. Adjectives are a tricky thing, and are many times subjective to the beholder, but leaving out any color to a description can leave your listing cold and uninviting. Be careful to add some well selected adjectives to brighten up your listing.

Reading a story with coffee

Short, Sweet, and Descriptive

Twitter has been training you for this! Well, maybe we are looking for something more than 160 characters, but sites like Zillow recommend a description of 250 words or less. So what are the key components to a good description? Think of it like telling a good short story with many of the same components

A great title- A short line that gives a glimpse of your property and sets a hook.

Now get the story going by setting the scene. Put your best foot forward with a great opening line to your description. Think about how you are going to frame your listing. Are you telling the story of a “…gorgeous farmhouse next to a pond”, or maybe “…an excellent opportunity to buy some of the best hunting woodland in the area”.

Once you’ve set the scene, let’s get into the plot of the story by listing some of the property’s best features. What do you love about your listing? What are your property’s very best traits?

After you’ve built the interest in your property’s story, it’s time to conclude with a call to action. Write a short line letting potential buyers know where they can go to get more information or set up a showing. You’ve spent all this energy to build interest in your property, now that the buyer has gone down the road with you, they’ll be looking for where the line starts to purchase your property and you want to give them the direction they need!

Other Important Information

So how do you pack all the information about your property in 250 words? The short answer is that you can’t. Let’s look at the different types of information and discover what is important to include in your description, and what things are ok to leave out.

Funny Star Wars Meme worried about not including everything in property description

The Good Information- This seems like a no brainer, we want to pack as much good information into our description as possible, right?....right? Not exactly. Consider the platform you are posting your listing on and what questions you’ve already answered about your property in the other areas of the listing. Bedroom/Bathroom counts, square footage, property taxes, and utility information is typically already covered in the other sections of the listing. Avoid duplicating information to leave room for highlights that a checkbox can’t capture.

The Not-So-Bad Information- One of the greatest pieces of advice when describing your property can be found in the children’s movie Bambi. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.” This rule can by applied to the little areas of your property that could be negatives when negotiating an agreement. Whether it’s a stain on a bedroom carpet or an area of previous damage that has been repaired, it is probably better to leave these conversations for later. Remember that your description is an advertisement meant to be a large net to draw people to your property. The goal is to list key information that will make the difference between a buyer moving on to another listing or taking the next step to come look at your property in person. Don’t waste this space for small negatives.

To think of it another way, you’ve probably never come across one of your friends that wanted to buy a property but decided against it because of a stain in one of the carpets. It may be that the new owner is planning on replacing the carpet as soon as they move in and the stain doesn’t even factor in to their decision. However, leaving information out of your description does not mean that it is not vitally important to point out these potential problem areas when showing the property to the prospective buyers.

The Ugly Information- Ok, we’ve covered the good and the not-so-bad, but what about the ugly information? Is the roof caved in, home is unlivable, kitchen floor is sagging, land is in a flood plain? If the piece of ugly information will be a major factor for most folks looking to purchase, it’s a good idea to share this info in your description so you are not wasting their time or yours.

When sharing the ugly information, it’s a great time to think about how you are framing this info. There is a difference between embellishing and framing. Let’s say that you are selling an abandoned property and the home is filled with trash. Rather than negatively saying “the place is a dump and is unlivable in current condition” or embellishing with “a quick clean will make this place a masterpiece”, maybe try framing as “the home is currently in need of trash removal, but all damage appears cosmetic”. This gives potential buyers an idea of what they would be getting into and information on what obstacles they may need to overcome.

Tools for repair

Better yet, if your ugly information is a big detractor from your property, go ahead and do the dirty work of repairing these items before listing to maximize your property’s value, and avoid haggling over the issues later.

Get ready for the phone to ring!

After you’ve created a beautiful property description, you are well on your way to saving more of that hard earned equity with your For Sale by Owner listing. Remember to reach out to The Selling Table for more information on preparing for your upcoming listing to make sure you have all your bases covered and have an experienced transaction coordinator in your corner. Contact us to find out how to get your free for sale by owner yard sign and pre-sale checklist to maximize your experience.

Hiring a transaction coordinator from The Selling Table helps property sellers save money by helping them through the For Sale by Owner process. Find out today how much you could save on your real estate transaction!

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