What A Difference A Word Makes

January 20, 2018

When selling a home, the words your agent uses to describe your home is critical. The most important of those words will be used in the MLS listing.  The words crafted to describe a home need to tell a story that resonates with buyers. Potential buyers are going to see the exact same words on popular websites such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com. Those few words (in Arizona only the first 800 characters will appear on the main page of the listing) and a couple of pictures have to capture a person’s attention in seconds, or they are on to the next listing.

With our focus on the North Scottsdale luxury market, we found that punchy, well-written copy really can make a difference. Descriptions control the number of people that view your property and can also affect how long it takes to sell.

We recently analyzed all the descriptive content of listings in the area’s luxury market. This content is taken from the property descriptions Realtors place on the MLS. Are different words used in the description of luxury properties that sell in 30 days different when compared those that remain on the market more than 500 days?

The answer is a resounding yes.

To illustrate this point, we created a word cloud (below) with the results.  The larger the word, the more often it appeared in the hundreds of listings we analyzed.  The results of this initial analysis and ongoing data we collect about listings, combined with our professional copywriter create a competitive edge to make our client’s homes stand out.

The word clouds below illustrate the clear differences between words used that sold homes quickly, versus those that are still languishing on the market. This is one reason why we believe it is important to spend time crafting the perfect sales copy.

If you are considering listing your luxury home with an agent, ask them to share the content from their last ten listings.  Read it, and see how it resonates, how professional it looks, and how well it is written.  Put the content in an application like Grammarly.  It never ceases to amaze me how often words are misspelled and grammar is butchered.  Is the copy written in all in caps?  I don’t know why anyone thinks this helps sell a home (it actually makes the copy more difficult to read).

Most luxury buyers are sophisticated and often well-read.  No matter how good an agent seems, if they can’t sell your luxury home in words (or hire someone who can), they may not be the right agent for the job.