The sale of your home is highly personal. You are proud of your home, and when you write listing copy, you’ll want to tell the world all about it. But when it comes time to sell, you have to put on your marketing and sales hat.

Your online listing copy, along with your home’s photos, will form the buyer’s first impression. When writing the listing, try to imagine yourself in the shoes of your future buyers. Here are some considerations for listing copy.

Get to the point right at the top

What is your home’s top selling point, compared to nearby homes for sale? You should know off the top of your head, and be able to tell potential buyers.

Buyers today may get up to 10 new listings emailed or texted to them each day, typically on a mobile device. If the notification comes in the middle of a meeting or while the buyer is occupied, they won’t have time to read the whole listing. But if you hit the top selling points in the first paragraph or two, they’ll be sure to come back later if the house fits their criteria.

Less is more

If buyers want to read a book, they can hit the local library. Though you may love your home and its fascinating story, the listing copy is not the place to tell that tale.

Many owners want to make certain their listing includes every last detail about their home. Unfortunately, few buyers will read the full listing, and only the serious ones care — and they can get all the details later.

Keep your copy under 250 words, if possible. Give enough information to let someone decide whether the home interests them, but keep them wanting more.

And don’t forget, the real estate listing will include photos. What’s more, buyers will learn the most about your home through an in-person tour, not your listing copy.

Use bullets if possible

Buyers typically want to know a handful of details upfront. Withholding this information from them or making it difficult to find in the real estate listing can frustrate them.

Readers’ eyes naturally move to highlights or bullets. Complement your informative, engaging copy with an easy-to-scan list of details buyers want to know:

  • Location
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms
  • Interior square footage
  • Lot size
  • School district

Your listing copy is never going to sell your home by itself. What ultimately seals the deal is your home’s location, size and condition. You could write the most descriptive copy in the world, but if your home doesn’t fit the buyer’s needs, they aren’t going to come see your home, let alone purchase it. Focus on creating a great listing and photos, and preparing your home so it shows in the best possible light.


Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

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