REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-Watch Your Words in Listing Ads.

The wording you choose in the ad for your listings is important if you want it to grab the right buyer attention.

A study by the University of Guelph in Ontario analyzed the wording of more than 20,000 Canadian home listings and found that a listing’s phrasing can influence a home’s sale price as well as the length of time it took for the home to sell.

For example, when the listing’s ad incorporated words like “beautiful” — rather than “move-in condition” — the sale price was influenced by 5 percent or more, as much as $15,000 on a $300,000 house.

Other words that reflected “curb appeal” or the attractiveness of the home, such as good neighborhood or excellent upkeep, also were found to help the property sell faster than homes that were described as “value” and “price,” the study found.

“There’s usually something that can be said in a positive way which will force a buyer reading an ad to see opportunities,” says Catherine Lindstadt, a licensed associate broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate. “It’s important to help a seller elaborate on their home’s assets with details and to give the buyer a visual.”

Instead of saying “spacious,” she prefers key words such as “open floor plan,” “vaulted,” or “high ceilings.”

A University of Texas at San Antonio study found in analyzing agents’ comments left on the Multiple Listing Service that comments that state facts about a home also are associated with increased selling prices.

“Buyers are attracted to amenities that can be verified–new roof, new carpeting, updated kitchen, beautiful landscaping, golf course community, lakefront, waterfront, gated community,” says Marie Montchal, a licensed associate broker and senior vice president of relocation and ancillary services at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty Relocation Center.

But beware of the word “new,” she says. “I know that ‘new kitchen,’ ‘new bath,’ ‘new roof’ and ‘new windows’ is inviting, but I have a guideline of two to three years, or ‘newer’ if it’s older than that,” she says.

Source: “Making ‘House for Sale’ SING: When Writing Your Ad, the Right Words Can Pay Off,” Newsday (Feb. 25, 2011)

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