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How to Describe Your Property to Sell It

by Lee Grayson, studioD

Persuasive words have the power to sell, but inaccurate descriptions in real estate promotions have risks for potential lawsuits. The fine line between attractive copy and accuracy means careful preparation. Descriptive writing involves using all of your senses, and real estate writing borrows many elements from crafting a short story. Potential buyers need to read text that attracts attention, builds interest and satisfies after a home visit.

List the home features you enjoy, and ask family members to make separate lists of the best features of your home. This list helps you focus your description on the most enjoyable and attractive features in your home.

Integrate all of the features identified by family members into one main list, and as a group discuss your home's best advantages. Make a final list of the features agreed upon by the majority of family members.

Develop a list of graphic words that describe the features your family selected for each room. People buy using emotions, according to social psychologist Alain Samson, senior consultant at the London School of Economics, so look at each room with an eye to an emotional appeal.

Measure the rooms and make a map of the floor plan. Buyers typically focus on the size of the common areas and bedroom sizes. Use this information to write a general description of the space in your home using the measurements.

Walk through your home and make a list of the special features in the rooms, yard and garage. Note brand names for appliances and any special home features, including windows, faucets, built-in electronics, garage door and opener and any built-in appliances. Focus on the things that you added to the home to make it comfortable. Write text for this feature category.

List the age of appliances, roof, flooring, paint and any remodeled features. Potential buyers like to know the age of key home features such as the roof. Develop text to describe any remodeling and use confirmed dates in your description. Be sure to note any regular maintenance, such as annual trim paint or roof treatments, you provide for your home.

Review the location of your home and the access to local schools, parks, bicycle paths and public swimming pools. Easy access to freeways or interstates, shopping malls and neighborhoods with sidewalks and community swimming pools interest a number of potential buyers. Write text for these features.

Write a separate description for each room in your home, and a separate text for the front and back yards and the garage integrating the lists and shorter descriptions. Incorporate the terms developed during the family meetings in your text, and review the lists made during family discussions to ensure everything is covered in the room descriptions.

Ask friends and other family members to read your descriptions and make suggestions for improvement.


  • Avoid using tired real estate terms such as "must see to appreciate" or "turnkey," and avoid vague terms that have a broad range of interpretation, including beautiful, breathtaking, stunning, amazing and magnificent.

About the Author

Lee Grayson has worked as a freelance writer since 2000. Her articles have appeared in publications for Oxford and Harvard University presses and research publishers, including Facts On File and ABC-CLIO. Grayson holds certificates from the University of California campuses at Irvine and San Diego.

Photo Credits

  • Image Source/Digital Vision/Getty Images