Top This Top Ten List

Yourtown real estate listings are an ever-fascinating catalog of homes that span the gamut of the residential spectrum from the most Architecture Digest-worthy estates to the humblest fix’ers. In order to extract maximum interest from the house-hunting public, the professionals’ photos illustrate their subjects at their glamorous best—whether that’s accomplished by hosing down a driveway to make the surface shine or timing an interior living room shot to reveal a  glowing twilight through the bay windows. 

The listing features supply the nuts and bolts of the property, which will either fit the prospective buyer’s housing requirements; and then, there is the additional element of the textual element. It almost always plays a supporting role. But even so, the written description also deserves to be carefully crafted. After all, the prose element comprises an additional pathway for evoking positive reactions. 

That being said, crafting effective descriptions takes thought and effort. Too flowery, and it will alienate realistic most readers. But, too bland and it’s just a wasted opportunity. About five years ago, a list appeared of the Top 10 listing words and phrases—those that appear most frequently. Without questioning how in the world the list was compiled, here it is—presented as a Top Ten list of descriptive words…to be avoided if at all possible!

  1. Beautiful. Really, c’mon! Spectacular, breath-taking, captivating…anything but beautiful!
  2. Hardwood floors. How about an intriguing description of the wood’s hue or surface? And what kind of wood?
  3. Stainless steel. It’s a positive, but more so if it gets a descriptor like gleaming or 
  4. Updated. Hard to believe this uninviting adjective is among the most common. “remodeled, redesigned, or renewed” are more evocative of thoughtful craftsmanship behind the renewal.
  5. Private. Actually, this is one cliché that works. It is appealing when it fits.
  6. Spacious. This is a neutral-sounding word. Depending on just how spacious the area is, more engaging words like ‘enormous’ commodious or cavernous.
  7. Landscaped. When this appears by itself, it begs for help—like ‘stunningly,’ ‘exquisitly’ or ‘lusciously.’
  8. Custom. This describes an important value increasing element, but the word is mud-hen drab. Better: “specially crafted, tailor made, unique, personalized, etc.
  9. Clean. Never! Unless it’s part of an architectural phrase like ‘clean lines’. Better: spotless, immaculate, flawless.
  10. Brand new. This might be engaging—but it could be “just completed” or “state of the art” (that’s a cliché, too—but if it’s accurate, another value-increasing word).

Every element of a home’s Yourtown listing is an opportunity to engage the buyers’ imagination. When it’s time to list your own Yourtown property, call me for a demonstration of that in action!

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