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We all know that photos are what immediately draw people to an advertisement listing. One may assume it is the price that draws people in, but you can have six listings with the same price, and most viewers will favor the listing with the most appealing primary photo. However, the photos and price only lure people in; it is the text within the real estate ads that seals the deal, and the text is what this article deals with.
It sounds like odd advice, but people feel more reassured about buying a house if they feel like they have done their research. Plenty of text about the house, its history, its plumbing, its special features, the area, house prices, terrain type, typical weather, points of interest, transport links, and whatever else is relevant, will help sell your house. Most of the stuff is only of a passing interest to the buyer, but it makes the buyer feel as if he or she has done some research. It is not the quality of the research that reassures the buyer, it is the “feeling” that all due diligence has been taken. Write an essay about all the features of the house if you wish, or even hire a cheap essay writing service to do it for you. Plus, as a side benefit, while the viewer is looking at your listing, he or she is not looking at someone else’s’ listing.
House listings that make a home seem like a diamond shoe dipped in gold dust are doing themselves a disservice because people are smart enough to know that if a house looks too good to be true, then there is probably something wrong.
Unless you are dealing with an overly eager buyer, the person looking at your listing is looking for a reason not to buy your property. There are such things as overly eager buyers, such as buyers who impatiently want to live in your property’s area, or people who do not realize the value of the money they are spending. Otherwise, your buyer is looking for red flags within your listing.
Remember that Simpsons episode where Marge is an estate agent and she says, “That house is dilapidated” and Lionel Huts says, “Its rustic.” Marge says, “That kitchen is tiny…” and Lionel says, “It’s Cozy.” People are looking at your listing and are trying to scratch the surface of the glossy marketing finish. There are two ways to fight this. The first is to bury the negative points in your text with a glossy marketing finish (the Lionel Huts method). Or, you can list the negative points about your house so that the reader can clearly see what is good and bad about your house.
There is a difference between mentioning negative points and red flags. A red flag is a photograph of the house where through the window is a burned-out car. A negative point is that the roof insulation needs extending to cover the wood beams. Red flags may include comments such as how the septic tank is big enough for two people (in a five-bedroom house), whereas a negative point is how the house keeps in heat, which is great in winter, but not so much in summer. An exposed lie is always a red flag, whereas an openly admitted negative point may actually help build trust with your buyer.
Play your viewer’s psychology against them. Write as much as you can that describes the house and all its great features, and then do a pros and cons list. The pros section will obviously be a very long list, and the negative section will be a short list. Make sure you enter all the negative points because you are going to have to inform the buyer of them anyway (by law).
Listing the negative points may seem dumb, but your buyer is going to make you an offer anyway, and you are probably going to accept the offer, so why not make the buyer feel like he or she has won? You list as $124,000, but you would accept $117,000. The buyer offers $119,000 and cites the negative points as the reason for paying under list. You “unwillingly” accept, and the buyer feels like he or she has got a great deal.
Your house and your area may have hidden benefits that do not apply to you. For example, your house may be located 1/4 mile away from a highway, which is no benefit to you because you work from home, but your buyer may work three junctions up from the highway junction near you, which makes your house incredibly convenient. The large fields near your house may mean nothing to you, but other sellers have mentioned the fields and have had inquiries from dog owners.
Looking at other people’s listings and making notes is a great way to build your own real estate ad. Take what works from other people’s listings and make them your own. Also, note the things that put you off about other people’s advertisements, such as how the pet-centric attitude of the ad writer is probably an indication that the house will need stripping, re-carpeting and repainting to remove whatever was left behind by the pets in the house.
Make your buyer feel like he or she knows something that other people in the area do not. For example, one seller mentioned how the terrace houses in the area have their roofs built sets of three to save money, but the downside is that a fire in one usually ends with a burnt-out roof on all three. The seller went on to say how his roof had been isolated with fire retardant foam.
Another seller mentioned how the houses in the area were built to fight against the cold conditions, but how they were built with poor ventilation due to this fact, which means mold is likely to spread in any areas with moisture during the colder months (when windows are typically closed). The seller mentioned how all his walls are painted with anti-mold (bathroom) paint, and how both his kitchen and bathroom have built-in dehumidifiers.
Another seller told of how the houses in the area were built on a pit, and how the builders filled the pit with garbage before building the houses on the estate. He told of how the other gardeners find bits of glass and chopped plastic when they dig in the garden. The same seller told of how he had five feet of his garden dug up, how he layered sandy soil (for drainage) and then topped it with three feet of topsoil.
The sellers in these cases had explained the problems that most houses are having in the area and had then gone on to say how the seller had fixed the problem. The buyer now feels as if he or she knows something that others do not know, and also feels as if the previous owner took care of the biggest problems the house has before selling. It is a reassuring position for a buyer to be in.