A Real Estate Agent's Guide to The Perfect Listing

A real estate listing isn’t just basic information about a property for sale; it’s a strategic marketing tool that can be used to your advantage. According to Torote Agency, these descriptions let potential buyers know what a home or commercial building has to offer; it should let them know what it looks like and what condition it’s in. Listings also need to have all the pertinent information like room sizes and year built plus anything special that makes it stand out from the competition.



Covering the Basics of a Home Listing

Home listings include photos of the inside and exterior of the buildings from different angles; potential buyers like to see as many as possible of homes that they’re interested in. There should be an overview paragraph that describes the property. Here is where you can include the address and development (if there is one), mention the type of floor plan (ranch, center hall colonial), number of bedrooms and a few unique features (finished basement, five minutes from the beach).


A typical Zillow listing will have this kind of intro, then a section with “facts and features” that spells out more specifics like the number of bathrooms, square feet, type of HVAC system, lot size, parking and accessibility. It’s also important to include information about the yearly taxes, water and sewer homeowners’ association (if there is one) and, of course, the listing agent’s contact information. So while the facts and figures section is basically cut and dry, it should be accurate and complete.


It’s important to focus on the overview paragraph that provides a short summary of what the property offers while highlighting its best points. Realtor.com has a different format; to get to the summary, you click on “property details.” When writing these paragraphs, don’t go overboard and gush about the “stunningly beautiful” deck or the “amazing cherry hardwood floors that treat your feet like royalty.” You should use adjectives, but they should flow naturally (spacious master bathroom with built-in soaking tub).


How to Write Better Listings

The most important thing to do when writing a real estate listing is to keep the information honest and accurate. You don’t want to mislead anyone because this can damage your reputation; disgruntled buyers will quickly spread the word about incorrect information. The overall tone should be clear, concise and inviting, without any strange words or local jargon that others might not understand or misinterpret. And if a home needs some work, let buyers know this in the right way: Turn any shortcomings into positives by offering suggestions for fixing them (a fresh coat of paint).


Outbound Engine has some good advice about word choice in real estate listings. They agree that going over the top is a bad thing; buyers will realize when agents are trying too hard. Don’t throw in too many adjectives, and stay away from some certain “red flag” words. Certain ones will detract from a home listing, and could even affect the selling price. They post that the worst ones to use are “TLC,” “cosmetic,” and “fixer.” These clearly indicate that the home needs a lot of work; this can discourage buyers or cause them to make lowball offers. Instead, choose words that will add value instead of taking it away: “landscaped,” “luxurious,” and “impeccable” are all good − as long as you aren’t exaggerating!



Unique features that add character should also be mentioned, because when buyers read these words they can form attachments to them. Seeing that there are “oversized his and her closets” or a “welcoming outdoor fire pit” can differentiate your listing from the competition; make the most of your listings’ one-of-a-kind home features whenever possible (and point them out during showings!).


More Great Advice for Real Estate Listings

If your introductory paragraph is running long, you can leave out the number of bedrooms and bathrooms since this will be covered elsewhere. And keep an eye on the punctuation; don’t end every single sentence with an exclamation mark or forget to put in periods. Also, avoid writing run-on sentences because these are very hard for readers to understand. Check your spelling, too; mistakes look very unprofessional.


You’ll also want to put your listing in the best possible light, and of course, this is referring to the photos. They’re incredibly important, and today’s tech-savvy consumers expect the best. If they see poor lighting, very small photos or not enough photos, they will quickly move on. Natural light is best, and the house should be meticulously cleaned. And if you’re not good at taking photos, learn how to do it better, hire someone to help you out or get a talented volunteer.


Making the Most of Real Estate Listings

Your listings can be on sites like Zillow and Realtor.com, your agency and agent websites; you can adjust the formats as needed to make them appropriate for where you place them. According to real estate agent Stephen FitzMaurice, the list of the top 10 real estate websites is led by Zillow, with 264.5 million average monthly visitors. Second is Realtor.com (139.8 million), followed by Redfin (74.5 million), Trulia (55.9 million) and Movoto (19.26 million). After that, the numbers drop substantially; Coldwellbanker was at 9.52 million, Homes.com at 7.09 million and Remax.com at 5.41 million.


The most trafficked real estate websites offer the most exposure, so it makes sense to list on them. But even when you use the best, you’ll still want to market your listings in other ways to attract even more potential buyers. Placester recommends doing keyword research and incorporating identified key phrases into your landing page content and marketing copy. They can also be used effectively in blogs, which you should also have on your agent site. You should also have a spot on your listings for potential buyers to contact you through email; save every address and send out marketing emails with clear, appealing subject lines (Open House this Saturday!).



Union Street Media recommends sharing listings on social media; if you’re not already active on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, it’s time to open up accounts. Add in photos, links and comments once in a while; don’t overuse these platforms, though, because too much will turn people off. These postings should include a context; instead of random listings, you could mention an award your recently won and feature your latest property.


Video tours of listings can help potential buyers form even stronger connections with listings, and all of the top agents use them for marketing. You can do these yourself or invest some money and have them produced; you’ll see plenty of sleek ones on luxury home listings. And if you are truly driven to make as many sales as possible, you’ll also want to provide your customers with great mobile experiences. Buyers are always on the move and frequently search for listings on their devices. Make sure that your own website is mobile-friendly, so your potential customers will be able to check out your amazing listings and reach out to you right away!