In a research study conducted in the early 2000s, a Canadian professor found that homes where the seller was “motivated” took 15 percent longer to sell, while houses listed as “handyman specials” flew off the market in half the time.

“It surprised even me,” said researcher Paul Anglin, who teaches real-estate and housing trends at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

Other findings: Words that denoted “curb appeal” or general attractiveness helped a property sell faster than those that spoke of “value” and “price.” Homes described as “beautiful” moved 15 percent faster and sold for 5 percent more. “Good-value” homes sold for 5 percent less than average. And “must-see” didn’t make any difference.

Making your listing the most attractive option to potential buyers can be the only thing standing between a quick closing and a house that lingers too long on the market, eventually hurting the sales process and netting less money in the long run. Even in seller’s markets, where inventory is lower than other markets, the competition is clamoring to attract the increasingly discerning buyer.

Descriptive words entice search engines as much as they entice potential buyers. We recommend specifying “granite” or “marble” when referencing countertops. For fireplaces, be sure to add “wood-burning.” Instead of simply “hardwood floors,” include that they are “Brazilian walnut.” Have an updated kitchen? Tack on “gourmet” to give buyers an idea of the magic they can cook up. Your listing will stand out to those looking for that extra something special.

Words in the study that helped sell a home:

  • Handyman special
  • Curb appeal
  • Move-in condition
  • Landscaping
  • Granite
  • Gourmet
  • Golf

Words that hurt the sale:

  • Motivated seller
  • Good value
  • As-is
  • Clean
  • Quiet
  • New paint

If you have any questions, be sure to contact us directly and we will be more than happy to assist you.

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