Words in real-es­tate list­ings in­flu­ence sale, study re­veals

Times Colonist - - Canada - BY CRAIG PEAR­SON AND ROBERTA PEN­NING­TON CanWest News Ser­vice

WIND­SOR, Ont. — When it comes to real es­tate, ev­ery­one knows what mat­ters is lo­ca­tion. So, too, it turns out, does lo­cu­tion. A Univer­sity of Guelph pro­fes­sor, who con­ducted a three-year study of home sales in Wind­sor, dis­cov­ered to his sur­prise that words used in real-es­tate list­ings greatly af­fect how fast homes sell.

“Many as­pects of sell­ing a home are im­por­tant,” said Paul Anglin, who teaches real es­tate in the school’s de­part­ment of mar­ket­ing and con­sumer stud­ies. “But word­ing is more im­por­tant than we thought.”

Thanks to in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by the Wind­sor-Es­sex County Real Es­tate Board, Anglin stud­ied 20,000 MLS list­ings be­tween 1997 and 2000 while he was a Univer­sity of Wind­sor eco­nomics pro­fes­sor.

He orig­i­nally con­cen­trated on pric­ing and home fea­tures but no­ticed the power of lan­guage.

“Words are what at­tract a po­ten­tial buyer to look at a house,” Anglin said. “Most peo­ple want to wan­der through a house be­fore they put down cash. But words are what can get them there.”

For in­stance, Anglin found that if the word “beau­ti­ful” is used in a home list­ing, it sells 15 per cent faster than av­er­age. If the ad refers to at­trac­tive land­scap­ing, it sells 20 per cent faster. Say it’s in “move-in” con­di­tion, and it sells 12 per cent faster.

The words that speed up a sale can of­ten bring a bet­ter price, as well.

Call­ing it “va­cant” or a “must see” was in­signif­i­cant. But call­ing it a “rental” prop­erty would de­lay the sale by 60 per cent, which Anglin said may sim­ply re­flect a seller’s pa­tience, since the prop­erty likely still pro­vides some in­come.

Anglin says lit­tle real es­tate mar­ket­ing re­search ex­plores proper list­ings.

But in case would-be home sell­ers think they can just jazz up the word­ing in their ads and make a sale, Anglin has a caveat.

“Just be­cause you use the word ‘beau­ti­ful’ your house won’t nec­es­sar­ily sell faster,” said Anglin. “If you say the house is beau­ti­ful and it’s not, then the buyer will ei­ther walk away or, when it comes to ne­go­ti­at­ing, won’t trust the seller. “So ly­ing has it con­se­quences.” Wind­sor Es­sex County Real Es­tate Board pres­i­dent Joe Mon­ta­le­one said he puts plenty of thought into find­ing the right words for prop­erty ad­ver­tise­ments.

“Writ­ing ads is not just putting words — it’s ba­si­cally try­ing to tell a story,” said Mon­ta­le­one.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.