NJ real estate agents paint pictures with words to attract buyers
When selling your home in New Jersey, words can go a long way.
In this case, it's the words that accompany the photos on your listing that's typically put together by a real estate agent. Many experts say this little blurb can mean the difference between someone passing on your home, or demanding to see it.
Yes, it's important to point out the special features of the home that many potential buyers seek, such as granite counters and stainless steel appliances. But the perfect first sentence, or the right few phrases, can make a listing stand out among several others.
The description, real estate agents say, needs to grab the reader and give them a reason to see the home beyond the provided pictures.
"I take particular care in making sure that my listing tells a story," said Amber Noble Garland of Keller Williams West Monmouth. "I think that the very first sentence is extremely important because it could make or break your listing."
Anyone can see a home has wood floors with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, Noble Garland said, so instead of being so literal, "you have to really lay it all out on the line."
"An example would be: Enjoy resort-style living everyday when you own this luxury townhome in this community. This is New Jersey's premiere waterfront, commuter-friendly community," she said.
Frank Cruz, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Princeton Junction, said he likens a listing's description to a tweet on Twitter. He only has so much space to make an impression (many sites have a character limit), and he's got to be smart with the words he chooses.
"What I've found is it's best if you try to think a little bit about your audience and who's most likely to be interested in this type of house," Cruz said.
Cruz said the first sentence or phrase is key to keeping readers who typically have a short attention span. If a home has a large backyard, newer appliances and is just minutes from major shopping centers, people may read on and learn that if the listing first asks them to imagine their "own private oasis in the middle of the city of Hamilton."
In Sea Girt, Randi Dickman, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Signature Properties, writes at least 20 listings per year.
"The words should paint a vivid picture of what it would feel like to live in that house," Dickman said.
But she says it's also important to stick with the facts that will draw potential buyers. An open floor plan and a cul-de-sac location, for example, are extremely appealing.
In her listings, Dickman tends to avoid certain terms that have accumulated a bad rap. "Motivated seller," she says, indicates desperation. Words such as "cute" and "charming" usually mean the home is small. And "lovely" can sometimes mean the complete opposite; the agent just doesn't want to insult the seller.
There's also the risk of boxing out a class of buyers with specific phrases. Noble Garland said she's careful with her words as to not discriminate against certain groups of people.
"For instance, when you say you can walk downtown, that can be deemed discriminatory against somebody who's in a wheelchair," Noble Garland said. "You have to be mindful of how to phrase things."
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