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Guest Author, Michael Corbett, is host of NBC's Extra Millionaires & Mansions and author of the national best-selling book "Ready, Set, Sold!"

Every aspect of a listing’s marketing can impact its sale price, even the word choice. For agents,  making sure descriptions capture a serious buyers attention is key to getting your sellers the most money.

When describing a home, the details matter.  In the bestselling book Freakonomics, authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner explain that “An analysis of the language used in real-estate ads shows that certain words are powerfully correlated with the final sale price of a house…. A ‘fantastic’ house is surely fantastic enough to warrant a high price, isn’t? What about a ‘charming’ and ‘spacious’ house in a ‘great neighborhood!’? No, no, no and no.”

Levitt and Dubner say, “If you study the words in an ad for a real-estate agent’s own home…you see that he or she indeed emphasizes descriptive terms (especially, ‘new,’ ‘granite,’ ‘maple,’ and ‘move-in condition’) and avoids empty adjectives (including ‘wonderful,’ ‘immaculate,’ and the telltale ‘!’).” Also, Don’t make it appear that your clients are desperate to sell, as in “Must Move Quickly.” You’re going after the buyers looking for their dream home – and willing to pay for it—not the bargain hunters!

Words that kill deals or decrease profits


  • Fantastic
  • Spacious
  • “!”
  • Charming
  • Great Neighborhood
Words that make deals or improve profits


  • Granite
  • Energy-Efficient
  • State-of-the-Art
  • Maple
  • Gourmet

The Smart Words Philosophy


When it comes to writing descriptions, the smart thing to do is to be very specific. Don’t be vague and use words like “fantastic,” “spacious,” or “charming.” Boring! Avoid sweeping adjectives.

Give specifics using descriptive, straightforward terms that tell the physical attributes of your home, as in “Marble,” “Spiral Staircase,” “Gourmet Kitchen with New Viking Appliances, and “Solid Bamboo Flooring.”

Remember, home buyers are interested in the facts not your (possibly biased) opinions.


Descriptions Matter

This time of year, there are many new listings hitting the market. Pay attention to these key power words that can help your listings get the right attention and ultimately the best prices. What power words are working in your market that might be missing from the list?

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