Rewrite Your Listing Descriptions: How to Sell Properties That are Lingering on the Market

Great properties can sit on the market and low-quality properties can sell quickly. Some real estate agents are immediately successful, while most fail in their first year. What happens? Could the way you write a listing description be that important? Yes, it can!

The property listing description is crucial, it can make or break a sale in a matter of seconds. When a good quality property is lingering on the market and not attracting buyers, it’s time to rewrite your property description. Those 250 words are the most important part of preparing to sell a piece of real estate. Let’s consider how you can remodel a listing description and close a sale.

Use Words People Like and Write Them Correctly

Buyers and their agents will search for keywords. Unfortunately, the search algorithms they use aren’t very flexible. If a word is misspelled, abbreviated oddly, or conjugated in an unexpected way, they won’t find your listing.

Make your 250-word MLS listing concise, but also make sure it has some flow and reads well. Choppy sentences and tenses that jump back and forth are hard to follow and seem unprofessional. If writing is difficult for you, go back to the basics and check out the listing instructions on a site like Their chart of accurate abbreviations is very helpful and will give you an idea of what keywords people are searching.

Don’t save space by abbreviating things people value. For instance, never advertise stainless steel appliances with something like “kitchen w/SS appliances.” If you can’t list everything, focus on the quality of the most desirable features of a home, the kitchen, and the primary bathroom.

You may have room to expand beyond 250 words on fliers and other advertising media. Use keywords that are popular, but avoid slang or buzzwords. Keep it simple, clear, and professional. Offer virtual or 3D tours and spend time on features of the property that would appeal to a wide range of buyers.

When your current listing has plenty of popular words like “spacious” and “captivating” but has poor grammar or too much capitalization, people won’t be impressed. The property owner should feel free to make suggestions about the listing description and request some edits. They can also provide insight into the other valuable features of the home, such as location, landscaping, and green upgrades.

You want your listings to be viewed as valuable and your business to be taken seriously. It’s unfair, but one badly written paragraph can color a whole property as low-quality and poorly maintained.

Proofread Like a Professional – Or with One

After you’ve edited your property description, imagine how it will be used. Will it be on flyers? Social media? Local newspapers? Be sure that what you’ve written is exactly what you want people to see. You can always jump in and edit the online version, but you will need to catch mistakes before they get into literal print.

Proofreading your own writing can be hard because your brain already knows what you mean and can easily skim over an error repeatedly. Give yourself some distance. Rereading the new listing description with fresh eyes the next day can help you recognize mistakes. For best results, read what you’ve written out loud.

If you look over your revised listing and still aren’t sure you’ve got it right, you need to get help. Consider hiring someone to edit your writing or prepare listing descriptions for you. It’s a short, easy, and interesting job that a student, stay-at-home parent, or retiree might enjoy. Think of someone you know who is an excellent writer and try collaborating with them. If your mom was an English teacher and is still correcting your grammar, make use of that valuable trait and ask for her help!

Real estate is a difficult, demanding, and high-stress job. Take some stress off by getting help from a professional writer, the same way you hire a professional photographer. You may be surprised by the good results as your listings begin to attract the right attention.

Revise Your Call to Action

A good listing description ends with a call to action – something to spur on your buyer to see the place and make an offer. Here are some enthusiastic examples:

“This beautiful property won’t last long. Come see it during our open house this weekend!”
“This captivating property is in demand. Call now for a showing!”
“Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity to live in (insert name of posh neighborhood) – make this your new home today!”

A property with a build-up like that should sell in a matter of weeks. HOwever, after about ten days, the dramatic ending will actually make a property seem suspiciously undesirable. Buyers will wonder what’s wrong with the place and why it hasn’t sold yet. Ultimately, they’ll shy away from it.

Needless to say, remove any reference to an open house once the date has passed. Nothing makes a property look less interesting than a record of open house showings that didn’t bring in any offers.

Since a motivating final sentence is still important, rewrite it with a longer shelf-life. A buyer surfing through listings will appreciate a realistic but non-pushy invitation to view the property. Try something like this:

“Come enjoy the spacious deck with a view of gently rolling hills and make this your new home today!”
“The captivating, lush gardens are at their best. Call today for a showing.”

Yes, you’ll need to revise that last sentence as the seasons change, but those small touches will make a big difference in the way your listing appeals to buyers. If you change nothing else, change your call to action.

Everyone loves paging through real estate photos imagining making a new place their own. Sadly, sellers and their realtors often see many hits on their listings but few showing requests. Revising the property description can be the key to getting more attention and landing a buyer.

With some careful rewriting, some professional help, and a good call to action, you can improve a listing description and sell a property that’s been lingering on the market. Look over your listings, talk to your sellers, and start making some changes today!