Words That Sell: Language to Use When Advertising in Real Estate

Any skilled realtor knows that a home listing is more than just a piece of information about a property; it’s an advertisement and one of the most effective ways to pique interest in your home.

In the business of real estate and advertising, words are some of the strongest weapons you have. We're living in an age of quick readers and constant scrollers, so picking the right words can mean the difference between a click of interest and a pass. Today, you have to work harder than ever to make your real estate listings stand out.

Several studies have been done to analyze the most powerful words for getting sales. An analysis by Zillow pinpointed 15 keywords that were commonly included in listings that sold for well above their expected values. Wondering what those words are? Let’s take a look.

15 Keywords to Enhance the Value of Your Next Listing

According to Zillow’s study, certain keywords had a greater impact on the sale price of homes in specific price tiers. Here’s a look at the top listing terms and the impact they can have.

Bottom-Tier Homes

  • Luxurious – Homes that included this word in their listings sold for an average of 8.2% more than expected.

  • Impeccable – Added an average of 5.9% to the home's sale price. 

  • Basketball – On average, lower-tier homes that included a basketball court in their listing sold for 4.5% higher than expected.

  • Stainless – Using this term to describe appliances increased the home's sale price by an average of 5%.

  • Beautiful – On average, lower-priced listings that included the word “beautiful” sold for about 2.3% more than expected.

  • Spotless – This descriptor added an average of 2% to the sale price when used to describe lower-tier homes.

  • Tile – Generally, listings with the word “tile” sold for about 2% more than expected.

  • Upgraded – This brought an average of 1.8% more than expected when used in listings for lower-tier homes.

Mid-Tier Homes

  • Pergola – On average, this feature brought approximately a 4% increase to a mid-tier home’s sale price.

  • Updated – Similar to “upgraded,” using the term “updated” indicates that older features have been replaced with something new. On average, this contributed about 0.8% to the sale price of mid-tier homes.

Top-Tier Homes

  • Captivating – Brought an average of 6.5% more to top-tier listings.

  • Gentle – As in “gentle rolling hills” or other features of the home’s location. Top-tier homes with this word in their listing tend to sell for an average of 2.3% more than expected.

All Tier-Levels

  • Landscaped – This word impacted homes in all price tiers, bringing in approximately 4.2% more than expected.

  • Granite – Across all price tiers, this descriptor brought 1% to 4% more than expected.  

  • Remodel – Another powerful word for all tier levels, the increase was, on average, 2.9% for bottom-tier homes, 1.8% for middle-tier homes, and 1.7% for top-tier homes.

While it’s clear that words really do matter, there is one important note of caution. We only advocate using these words to describe your property if they’re actually true. You might lose sales if you embellish your listing, and your property doesn’t live up to the hype. For example, not all houses are castles.

When it comes to real estate marketing, never, ever mislead your buyers!

Tips for Writing Impactful Real Estate Listings

Whether you’re an experienced agent or you’ve recently begun transitioning into a real estate career, it’s critical to nail your real estate listings. These quick tips will help you attract buyers like a pro.

1. Get Descriptive About Materials

Add value to a home’s listing by including specifics about the materials used. For example, high-end countertops may be described as “iced white quartz” or “Bianco Antico Granite.” Wood stain could be described as red oak, rustic grey, cognac, cherry, or espresso.

2. Describe the Home’s Lighting

If a home has vintage chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling French windows, custom stained glass, or recessed lighting, add this to your description. Other descriptions, such as “sun-filled den,” “dramatic landscape lighting,” or “naturally lit open floor plan” can bring the home to life.

3. Highlight Green Features

A recent study by HomeLight Research found that 48% of top agents surveyed agreed that energy efficiency is important to buyers, and green features can add up to $8,200 to the value of the home. With this in mind, you’ll want to include relevant terms like “smart home,” and “energy efficient.” Also mention features such as low-flow plumbing fixtures, solar panels, and Energy Star appliances.

4. Keep Your Language Clear and Concise

We’re a generation of smartphone users and clickbait headline readers. If your listing doesn’t convey the most important information upfront and quickly, potential buyers may quickly move on to the next option. 

5. Brush Up On Your Basic Writing Skills

We recommend taking a look through The Elements of Style by E.B. White (author of Charlotte’s Web!) and William Strunk Jr. This is an undisputed classic on how to write well and can serve as an excellent reference.

Take Your Real Estate Career to the Next Level

To learn more tips on how to maximize your real estate business, take a look at our professional development courses. Here, we cover a variety of topics including how to secure more listing appointments, become a neighborhood expert, and build a million-dollar real estate team. They're simple and affordable, making now the perfect time to sharpen your skills. 

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Updated 3/19/23

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