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It’s Story Time! How Creative Language Can Sell a Home

Your listing may seize buyers’ attention with buzz words like “granite counters” or “bamboo flooring” but are you taking full advantage of language to truly tell a property’s story? Melynda Capps or 1st Choice Realty in Citrus Heights, CA claims that colorful property descriptions can often provide a secret weapon to realtors in an age where a vivid story can make or break a listing.

When she first started in real estate, Capps says her ads read like many others on the market today, by stringing together a list of features: “butler’s pantry, wine fridge, vaulted entryway…” After a few years in the field, she realized that she was overlooking an opportunity to make a more emotional connection with potential buyers by creating a tangible property narrative.

An ideal listing should invite buyers to imagine themselves living and thriving in the space. Real estate copywriter, Valerie Haboush, once dubbed by The New York Times as a “poet of property”, has made her two decade career out of writing lyrical property descriptions. “You can use words to create a feeling for a place,” Haboush says. “When you start describing the richness of the kitchen cabinets or the fineness of the finishes and that perfect place to prepare gourmet meals in the kitchen – you start to create a picture.”

Here are a few quick tips for maximizing the literary power of your property listings:

1. Illustrate a scene. Before writing a description, Capps walks through her properties and asks herself, “Why would a buyer want this house?” Maybe a buyer needs to image themselves raising a family and preparing meals for children in the spacious kitchen. Maybe a young couple will eye that airy pergola for entertaining guests while enjoying the sunset.

2. Amp up your vocab. Instead of simply saying “bedroom”, use colorful vocabulary to build appeal: “expansive bedroom” or “luxurious master bedroom overlooking breezy seascape” can paint an appealing picture for potential buyers.

3. Double check your grammar and spelling. About 43% out of 1,200 people surveyed said that they would be less likely to tour a home if the description contained typos and improper grammar, according to a study by the brokerage Redfin and proofreading site Grammarly.

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