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How to Describe My Wisconsin House in a Listing

Studies show that listing remarks are second in importance to photographs to potential buyers. So, after you load your listing up with clear, compelling photos of your Wisconsin FSBO, get to work on the description of your property.

Some comments in a home’s listing may be “more hype than help,” a study performed by Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business concludes. The study showed that these subjective comments correlated with a decrease in the home’s selling price. Examples include the terms “good location,” “motivated seller,” and “good buy.” Verifiable terms, on the other hand, present a mixed bag when it comes to raising or decreasing the final sales price of a home. “Updated,” for instance, increases the sales price while “paint,” “new carpet” and “roof work” correlate to lower selling prices. What studies such as this prove is that how you describe your house in a listing may make all the difference when it comes to getting top dollar for your home.

Use the right words

Baruch College Zicklin School of Business performed a study of home listings and found some surprising results. Some words bring higher home prices, but only if the remarks are true. For instance, the word “updated” in the listing description brings a higher sales price, while “new carpet” may actually lower the sale price.

If your home is actually in “turn-key” condition, mention that word in the description. If it’s not, how about working on the home to get it in tip-top condition so you can factually use the word in your description? Here’s a bit of incentive: The University of Guelph in Ontario Canada’s Paul Anglin claims that homes described as move-in ready or turnkey sell more than 10 percent quicker than homes listed without that descriptor.

List your home’s features

Avoid repetition in your remarks. If the listing will mention the number of bedrooms and bathrooms elsewhere, don’t waste the valuable space in the description on those features. Instead, mention the hardwood floors, the gourmet kitchen, the sunroom or the distance to the nearest school or park, if they’re close by.

Use descriptive phrases. Instead of “hardwood floors,” use “gleaming hardwood floors” or “refinished hardwood underfoot.” Sell the sizzle, not the steak. You might also want to consider selling what it would be like living in the home in your description. This works especially well if you are selling a high-end home with many amenities. Make the readers imagine themselves living the lifestyle that the home affords.

Don’t violate Fair Housing laws

The Fair Housing Act demands that you not mention race, religion, gender, handicap, national origin or familial status. In other words, avoid describing the home as “perfect for families” or “ideal for singles.” HUD suggests you also avoid using words that might be considered exclusionary such as “private,” “restricted,” “exclusive” or even “traditional” when describing a neighborhood.

Writing an effective description of your Wisconsin house for sale is important, so take the time to do it right and you’ll have buyers beating a path to your house.

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