How to Write Real Estate Listing Descriptions That Sell
A picture is worth a thousand words, but the challenge for real estate agents is to write a listing description that entices the buyer into clicking through the home's online picture gallery. Your primary outlet are MLS sites, but since you also post your listings on social media, your property listing descriptions should be creative and informative enough to cut through internet clutter. If you’re wondering how to write a real estate listing, this guide is a new agent's go-to source for tips on writing creative, high-quality real estate listing descriptions that are sure to generate showings and sales.
Real Estate Listing Examples
When writing real estate listing descriptions, the trick to catching a buyer's attention is to lead with your ace. We’ll show you two creative real estate listing descriptions examples to illustrate what we mean. In the example below, the property description focuses hard and fast on the location because the property is in a highly desirable school zone.
This elegant single family home sits on a tree-lined street in highly desirable North Littleton, just minutes to Littleton Academy elementary, Heritage High School, downtown Littleton & Denver center. A private entrance, stone pathway, and thoughtfully landscaped grounds invite you into the front yard. Upon entrance, you are warmly greeted by slate floors, fresh paint, and a bright and open floor plan seamlessly connecting the kitchen to the living room and leading to the inviting, sunny backyard. Meticulous attention to detail is presented in the kitchen with new quartz countertops, customized backsplash, freshly finished cabinets, and brand-name appliances. Adjacent to the living room, there’s a comfortable family room and an oversized master bedroom with a sitting area and bonus room for a walk-in closet, office, or a toddler’s playroom. Upstairs you’ll find another bathroom, bedroom, and a bonus room/fourth bedroom that provide additional flexibility. The backyard is full of fruit trees, and a large patio provides plentiful space for gardening and entertaining.
While the listing agent cannot say outright that this property is in a good neighborhood for a young family, the emphasis on nearby schools in this house for sale description example subtly communicates that fact.
Let’s look at another house for sale description example. In this listing description, the agent highlights a couple of key features of the house for sale description — namely the solar energy and smart home features while noting the names and manufacturers of the high-end appliances.
Striking modern A-frame home built by Urban Pacific with solar energy plus smart home features that offer quintessential Oregon indoor/outdoor living, just steps from downtown Portland. Newly completed in 2018, this 4 bedroom, 4 bath home plus unique bonus flex space offers adaptable rooms, high ceilings, and rich natural light. The kitchen boasts a magnificent center island, exposed wood beam, & dynamic sconces which offer the perfect balance for casual and formal entertaining alike. The gourmet kitchen features professional-grade appliances including a newly installed double oven, subzero refrigerator, subzero wine fridge, and a pantry complete with a Bosch coffee machine. Glass sliding doors open to a private and bright backyard, complete with a built-in Webster professional BBQ and a separate Tavola wood fire pit.
This house for sale description example points to the features that could be used for entertaining, which tells potential buyers that this home may be best suited for those who prioritize socializing.
Focus on the Headline
Your headline should pack a descriptive punch in just a few words. Focus on two things in your real estate property description: location and something unique about the house. If you're having a hard time getting started, look at other MLS descriptions in the neighborhood to get some inspiration for creative real estate listing descriptions examples. Here’s the first headline from two real estate description examples:
“Gorgeous two-story brick home located in the sought-after Eastover neighborhood.”
This headline tells the buyer not only that the neighborhood is sought after, but also that it's a two-story brick home, which will carry a proportional price tag. Let’s look at another headline in a house for sale description example:
“Hard to find, well-maintained brick rancher in the heart of Myers Park.”
In this headline, the listing agent lets the buyer know where the property is and what makes it special in short order. A buyer who's looking for a brick ranch probably knows that they are scarce, and other agents will know that you likely have multiple offers on the home, inspiring them to act fast.
Real estate property descriptions don’t have to be hard to write. Talk with the seller to learn more about the benefits of the home, then use this information to make your property description more specific, and you’ll surely grab attention of potential buyers.
Include an Attention-Grabbing Opening Statement
The photos you share with your property listing give great visuals, but buyers want details they can't uncover themselves, with even the best pictures. Your opening statement needs to answer the buyer's fundamental question (what am I looking at?) and make them want to keep reading, filling in the details the pictures can't provide. Begin with the features that appeal to buyers. For example:
“Gorgeous drive up gives way to a stunning, updated 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath located in Northlake Elementary attendance area in the heart of Lake Highlands.”
For the right buyer, this opening sentence is a winner — it speaks to the property’s desirable school district, roomy interior, and prime location. Let’s look at our second of these real estate listing descriptions:
“Clean line, modern property situated on an oversized lot in the Preston Hollow area. Step inside this beautifully upgraded home and fall in love with its open spaces, including 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, two living areas, and a private study.”
These opening lines immediately communicate that the property is large, sits on a sizable lot, and is located in a prestigious neighborhood. With these kinds of details leading your property listing, buyers will be jumping over themselves to read more.
Highlight Unique Features
Here's where your property listing description highlights the details that make this specific house special. If any of the following are present in your property, make sure you include them in your real estate listing descriptions: professional landscaping, a custom kitchen, spa bathroom, name-brand appliances, and any other upgraded features. This is no time to be modest; name-drop the brands and finishes that buyers want. Don't forget that your job is to stay on top of trends, so your descriptions should list out current desirable features and steer clear of retired favorites (think granite vs. quartz countertops, for example).
Finding unique features can present a challenge; most listings are middle-market houses with middle-market amenities. Accuracy is crucial in these listing descriptions since you want to stand out in the crowd, but be creative and positive. Choose your words carefully — instead of saying a house "needs some TLC", say that the buyer can "customize this home for your lifestyle".
Strategically Choose Adjectives
Many real estate agents use tired clichés in writing their listing descriptions, so be sure to choose all your words carefully, but be especially strategic — and spare — with your adjectives. Here are some words to catch the buyer's eye and keep them reading:
On the flip side, these are words to avoid in your real estate property descriptions:
●Gorgeous (also beautiful, stunning, etc.)
Unless the thing you're describing is really gorgeous (a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, Maine coastline, etc.), avoid those appearance descriptors; buyers have the pictures to judge for themselves if the backyard is stunning.
Keep Fair Housing Laws In Mind
Make sure that your property listing descriptions abide by the Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when they’re renting or purchasing a home, along with other related activities, so avoid mentioning race, gender, national origin, familial status, or disability in your listings. Focus on what the property presents and welcome all potential buyers by using inclusive language in your property descriptions.
Create Compelling Call-To-Action Buttons
Customer retention is the name of the game here: Keep prospective buyers on your site as long as possible. Do this with call-to-action (CTA) buttons that will engage the viewer and encourage them to click through to another page. CTA buttons are really just high-tech versions of the "CALL TODAY!" taglines at the end of old print or TV ads. Below are some examples of CTAs that you can sprinkle throughout your website.
Search For Homes: Create a short quiz (ask about the preferred number of beds and bathrooms, price range, ZIP code, etc.) to help buyers narrow their search and engage the viewer.
Get a Free CMA: Everybody wonders what their house is really worth, so give readers that information. In return, you'll have their info for your database. Pop this button in the text near the top of your page.
Download Our Free First-Time Buyer’s Guide: Offer first-time buyers a link to an online guide for the homebuying process. If you have a blog, send them to your blog for homebuying tips.
Remember, the goal here is to get the buyer to share their contact details, so give them plenty of opportunities to do so without going overboard on CTA buttons. Three to five CTAs are plenty for your landing page.
Proofread and Have a Colleague Check Each Listing Description
As a real estate agent, your success depends on your ability to write engaging and compelling content in the limited space allotted by your MLS. You can expand on your description in flyers and social media posts, but most buyers will find you online with shorter descriptions. Every word needs to count, so practice editing and tighten up your writing skills.
After you've written your listing description and given it a final polish, ask a colleague to review and proofread your work. If you're a new real estate agent, then you'll need to let your broker in charge sign off on all your marketing materials. Either way, consider using Grammarly to catch mistakes in syntax and spelling — a basic subscription is free and could help you to improve your real estate property descriptions.