As a real estate Virtual Assistant, I spend my day creating marketing materials for Realtors. So, you can understand why I was interested in the results of a study conducted by Paul Anglin, a professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada who teaches real estate and housing trends. The study dissected wording of more than 20,000 Canadian home listings from 1997 to 2000.
The study shows consumers to be more interested in style over substance and respond more positively to words about 'curb appeal' and attractiveness than words about value and price.
'Beautiful' homes sold 15 percent faster and for 5 percent higher in price than the average. 'Good value' homes sold for 5 percent less.
The verbiage 'must see' was about as popular as a telemarketer at dinnertime, but didn't significantly impact the number of days on the market.
Use of the word 'landscaping' related to homes selling 20 percent faster than the average, while homes using 'move-in condition' took 12 percent less time to sell.
When conveying the motivation of the sellers, some words worked better than others. Listings using the word 'moving' sold for 1 percent less in price compared to 8 percent less with the word 'motivated'.
Use of words such as 'foreclosure', 'as-is', 'handyman special' and other terminology relating to a problem related to lower sales prices.
Words highlighting positive features such as 'granite', 'maple', and 'gourmet' were associated with higher prices.
Referring to 'golf', 'lake', 'views' brought increased prices. But, positive comments (new paint, new carpet) relating to condition brought lower ones.
Words that help a listing:
curb appeal, move-in condition, landscaped, granite, gourmet, golf
Words that hurt a listing:
motivated seller, good value, as-is, clean, quiet, new paint
According to the article in The Denver Post telling of Mr Anglin's study, even he was surprised by the results. The use of the word 'quiet' surprised me the most, as I had learned this to be a positive work in a marketing seminar I attended years ago and often used the term 'quiet tree-lines street'. Not any more!!