9 Things Real Estate Pros Should Never Say in MLS Listings

Posted by Jessica Schweppe

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Jul 6, 2015 10:47:00 AM

real_estate_pros_shhThere are tons of articles out there telling you how to optimize your MLS listings to make them stand out to potential buyers (including this one that we published a while back). While it's true that you need to be aware of things that will be a turn-on to home shoppers, you also need to be aware of avoiding things that are a major turn-off. This post provides a list of MLS listing description faux pas, as determined by agents and brokers.

What NOT to say in MLS listings (advice for real estate pros):

  1. "Hurry, won't last!"... on a listing that's several months old:

    While there's nothing intrinsically wrong with inducing a sense of urgency among potential buyers, the effect can backfire if a listing sits on the MLS for longer than a couple of weeks. If you do use an "act now" tactic, be sure to set a reminder to remove it from the MLS if your listing doesn't sell quite as quickly as you anticipated it would. 

  2. Needs work (aka, will cost a lot of money to make it livable):

    First off, A+ for honesty. If you're selling a property that is a fixer-upper, it's best to say so up front so you don't end up parading buyers through who aren't interested in a property that's going to require major investments to make it livable. BUT - don't generalize what needs fixing, be explicit. If the floors need to be redone, say so. If the kitchen is in rough shape, say so. Buyers are working with a budget and may be willing to invest in some updates if the rest of the house is in good shape - so make it easy for them to anticipate, on a scale of 1-10, how much of a project the home will be.  

  3. Requires 24 hours notice to show:

    While it's understandable that your sellers may prefer to have a heads up before strangers come into their home, requiring a 24 hour notice to show can be very inconvenient to a buyer - especially in a seller's market where inventory is tight. When options are sparse, many buyers watch the listings feed like a hawk waiting for a new property to pop up and want to pounce. Don't damper their enthusiasm. Tell your sellers to be ready to vacate with an hour's notice for best results.

  4. Lister must accompany at showing:

    This is a quick way to drive buyers crazy. The last thing a potential buyer wants is to feel judged as they talk about the things they'd change in the property your seller knows and loves. Encourage your sellers to do themselves a favor and leave the showings to the experts. 

    Pro Tip: 
    Take it up a notch! Download our free guide on what NOT to do at your open house

  5. Cozy home on a convenient street:

    Face it, everyone knows that 'cozy' and 'quaint' mean small and 'convenient' usually means close to a busy street that will have lots of traffic noise. I'm not saying that you have to point out obvious things that buyers will figure out on their own by looking at the square footage or a map - just don't use creative adjective combinations to try to and make properties sound like something they're not.

  6. "Honey, stop the car!":

    Nothing makes me roll my eyes faster than seeing this on a listing. Can you say cheesy? Buyers want to know about standout features and unique values a home can provide, not how many cute anecdotes the listing agent knows.

  7. Home "boasts" fill-in-the-blank feature:

    I thought this one was interesting, but the agent who posted is really bothered by the excessive use of the word 'boast' in MLS descriptions. Now, it's okay to use the word 'boast' if you're describing a feature that is unique, extremely valuable or is a source of pride to the seller - but if you're just talking about universal, run-of-the-mill features, try using a word like 'includes' instead. 

  8. Great potential...:

    Nothing scares a "potential" buyer like a listing that has great "potential". Please defer back to #2 for more information on how to handle listings that require a little TLC.
  9. Typos:

    I shouldn't even have to point this one out... but seriously guys, proofread your stuff.

Stay away from these cliches, cheeky one-liners and misleading descriptors to attract the right kind of attention to your listing!

Are you violating any of these? Do you have one to add to the list? Share in the comments!


Now that we've covered MLS description best practices,
let's focus on real estate email marketing:

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Topics: Practical Advice

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