How to Create Real Estate Listings That Sell

Posted on Jul 12 2016 - 2:57pm by Housecall

By Chris Stoddart

Online listings are the first step of almost every real estate sale these days so it is crucial that yours be in great shape. Attracting buyers with property listings can be a challenge for many real estate agents, but if you keep the right things in mind it is easy to use them effectively.

Don’t Be Afraid To Stand Out

One of the biggest mistakes I see in real estate listings is lack of personality. These listings are there to grab people’s attention and get them interested in buying your property. It is hard to do that with bland messaging.

Make your listings unique by adding your own voice and perspective on the property’s features. If you think the backyard is great for pool parties or that the location is in a cozy neighborhood, put that in the listing. Anything you can add that helps readers picture themselves in the property is a good thing.

Related: Drone Photography is Rapidly Changing Real Estate…Are You Keeping Up?

Use Eye-Catching Photography


Aerial Photograph by Dallas Air Photos

This is, in my opinion, the single biggest factor in persuading homebuyers to call about a property. You can have great copy and a great property, but if you do not have good photography homebuyers will hesitate to schedule a showing.

First and foremost, when it comes to real estate photography, hire a professional. The job of an online listing is to show off the beauty and selling points of a property. The last thing you want is a smartphone picture sullying your listing.

Interior shots are a must, but it is usually the classic exterior “front door” shot that draws buyers in, so make sure to get that one right. Good exterior photographs will include as many of the property’s selling points as possible, and there is no better way to get a shot like that than with an aerial perspective from a drone. Hiring a drone is easy, and you can even save money by finding drone photographers who also take interior shots.

Write Engaging Copy

After your stunning photographs bring people to your listing, use well-written copy to convince them to schedule a showing. The best-written articles seem to find the perfect balance between detailed and focused. They include more information where it matters but are concise enough to keep the listing from overwhelming the reader with information.

Try to put yourself in the shoes of someone who would buy your property and imagine what would be most important to you. If you are selling a multi-million dollar home, emphasize the name-brand appliances and updated hardwood flooring. If you are selling a mid-range home, talk about the new fence and comfortable neighborhood. Use descriptive words where appropriate, but try not to overdo them.

Last, but not least, please do not be cheesy. There are way too many agents out there using all-caps and writing headlines that sound more like clickbait than a real estate listing. It is not necessary to resort to such tactics. If you keep your listings clean and simple, and make the best details easy for readers to find, your listings will be much more effective.

6 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Cathy Strittmater July 13, 2016 at 8:42 am - Reply

    One must be very, very careful when discussing families, etc. in listing remarks. There are fair housing laws that realtors must abide by and stating the home is family friendly, etc. is sliding down a very slippery slope. One can certainly give personality to the listing remarks, but stay within the fair housing guidelines in doing so. In my MLS system (MRIS), the system actually flags words that are deemed inappropriate and will not allow us to use certain words in our description. So agents be careful when trying to add personality to describe a home.

    • Ann Berry-Kline July 13, 2016 at 11:09 am - Reply

      I thought the exact same thing when reading the article. I believe very much in adding personality but you have to be mindful of fair housing guidelines!

    • Nick Caruso July 13, 2016 at 11:12 am - Reply

      Great insight, Cathy!

    • Nancy Linder July 13, 2016 at 12:00 pm - Reply

      You are correct Cathy, it is against Fair Housing laws to advertise “Family Friendly”, or “Perfect for a Family”, “perfect for a single person” or other such statements referring to familial Status. Realtors used to use these statements often, but there was a coordinated effort with all Realtor boards and MLS providers that this is against Fair Housing laws and if someone catches you using this phrasing you could possibly face legal action. This is not the first article I’ve read recently that has suggested using familial status statements to draw in potential buyers. Someone needs to stop these authors from writing about marketing a property like this before an unknowing Realtor breaks Fair Housing Laws and ends up with a filed complaint. (I am not an attorney, but have 10 yrs. experience as a Realtor, worked with 3 Boards, and have been a real estate investor for 13 years. Fair housing laws have been drilled into me).

      • Nick Caruso July 13, 2016 at 12:46 pm - Reply

        Thanks for the feedback everyone! We’ve edited this article to remove the marketing to families aspect.

  2. Susan Guidry July 13, 2016 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    My thoughts exactly! Since the laws are federal, this would apply to all MLS associations, and publications as well.

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