Monday, July 16, 2012

6 things your home listing should include - conclusion

6. Tout lifestyle. Buyers are also motivated by emotion. A home is a place where they will create memories. So give them a hint about what those memories might be. How will they enjoy the home and its features?  Try these suggestions; "Relax with a glass of wine on the custom deck overlooking the well landscaped backyard" or "entertain friends in the gourmet kitchen." Does it have a front porch? How about "relax with a glass of lemonade on the front porch".
If a community has great amenities such as a neighborhood pool or nearby walking or biking trails, mention them. If the elementary school is a short walk away, that should be featured prominently as well. Ditto for perks such as short commutes or proximity to highly desirable restaurants and shops.
Just remember to deliver the biggest selling points of a house in the first couple of lines, whether it's "tons of storage space" or "beautifully landscaped front yard."

Omission isn't necessarily a sin
Equally important, however, is what you leave out of a listing. Some euphemisms such as "adorable," "quaint" or "cozy" merely emphasize a negative quality, such as lack of space. Let the square footage speak for itself. Don't feel the need to point out cosmetic flaws. Buyers will discover a home's quirky floor plan or tiny garage once they visit. For some it will be a deal breaker; for others, maybe not.
Likewise, don't use words such as "as-is," "fixer" or "handyman's special." Buyers reading "as-is" in a listing will often imagine the property to be in far worse condition than it is.
Keep in mind that everyone has a different idea of what a fixer is. And, frankly, the photos on a listing showing ripped-up linoleum or dated cabinets and countertops should convey a lot about its condition.
Instead, point out the opportunities, such as the hardwoods hiding underneath the carpet or the storage space afforded by the extensive built-ins. One couple that had to move quickly after they had begun ripping out kitchen walls and surfaces for a remodel. "New owners start with a clean palette to have the kitchen of their dreams," was how they worded it in the listing. The property got an offer in its first week on the market.

Don't look desperate. Don't point out huge price drops, or that a seller is "willing to negotiate." Aren't they all? 'It looks desperate, like you can't unload it".
Don't merely repeat what's in the listing's property fields. You don't need to restate that it's a three-bedroom, two-bath home. That's a waste of words that you could be using to talk about the short commute to downtown or beautiful landscaping.
Lastly, don't be a Fair Housing Act offender. You can't appear to discriminate in the marketing of a home, so you should avoid mention of race, religion, national origin, disability, sex or family status. So no "perfect for a growing family" or "mother-in-law suite" or "ideal bachelor pad."

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