How the right words in listings can boost a home's sales price.


“‘Luxury’ is overused by the real-estate industry,” says Mike Akerly.

In real-estate listings, certain words (beautiful, captivating) and features (pizza oven, farmhouse sink) can swing a home’s sale price by thousands of dollars, according to research conducted by the real-estate firm Zillow.

Crafting verbiage for a listing is all about making a home seem unique –– just don’t use that word. It can slash a home’s price by 30% to 50%, according to a Zillow analysis of 24,000 sales published in “Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate Language.”

“Unique” and other “price-threatening messages” convey the idea that homes “tend to need work, or some kind of rehab,” according to the book’s co-authors.

On the other hand, the words “beautiful” and “captivating” can boost sales by 2.3% and 6.5%, respectively.

Words and sales prices are “not necessarily a causational situation,” said Matt Kreamer, Zillow’s manager of data public relations. “It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg question. But an agent can take some of this information when considering the best things to highlight.”

Indeed, crafting evocative language is perhaps a neglected skill in an era when homes can be bought sight unseen following a FaceTime or Skype walk-through.

Does your home have a steam shower or heated floors? If so, mention that near the top of a listing; including either feature earned sellers a 29% higher sales price than listings without them, according to Zillow’s analysis of 3.6 million home sales between 2016-2017.

The words “professional appliances” also ranked as high, and “pizza oven” served up some serious dough –– 26% more.

Advances in text-mining software have made word analysis of millions of listings comparatively easy. To be more specific in its study of 100 listing terms from 2016-2017 listings, Zillow compared similar listings within certain variables such as the year homes were built and sold, as well as property size and other factors.

Read more at the LA Times

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