Can I write the property description for my estate agent?
In the past, estate agents will have insisted on writing your property description. They know what buyers want to hear and what is relevant. However, the rise in online estate agents means many sellers now have the choice to save money and market their own property.
If you think you can do a better job or your estate agent will undersell your property’s key features, the chances are you are probably with the wrong estate agent. Most estate agents will have written hundreds, if not thousands of property descriptions and will know what key benefits buyers are looking for and they will be able to stay objective. A home owner might be too close to particular features - especially if they cost a lot of money or involved a lot of work – and not realise that their idea of a perfect patio is not another person’s. Writing a property description can also be very time consuming.
Traditional estate agents work on the basis that they know the right tone for the target audience of your property. If your house is ideal for young families, then information about local schools and a large garden are important features to focus on. If it is a flat in a city centre, then they will know what young professionals or investors are looking for.
However, a good estate agent will also know that the housing market is changing. To avoid higher fees, many sellers are choosing to sell their homes privately. Using online agents they can write their own descriptions and host viewings to reduce costs. To keep up with this new dynamic in the market, many traditional estate agents are becoming more flexible and allowing sellers to write their own property description. Some online estate agents openly welcome it.
Sellmyhome.co.uk says it prefers the homeowner to write the description because it gives any potential buyer a better insight into the property and can help it stand out from competing properties.
It says: “Key requisites for a buyer are knowing the size and proportions of the property, the conditions and understanding the different features and benefits the property has to offer. With this in mind, the written description of the property is key as it can answer a number of questions that can’t be answered in a floor plan or photo.”
If you are thinking of writing your own property description, here is our checklist of what to avoid:
- Don’t use flowery language. Start with clear information about key features such as how many bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage and location, so that potential buyers can initially gleam the important facts. If you can match their basic criteria quickly, then they will decide to read more.
- Don’t mislead. Instead make positive statements about the property that focus on the most important features, eg. “A modern two bedroom apartment within walking distance of great rail links to…”
- Don’t over exaggerate. Watch out for too many superfluous and over elaborate, repetitive adjectives.
- Avoid abbreviations. Everyone in the local area might know what the ELC is, or that the school is known as HWS. But it could look like gobbledygook to your potential buyer.
- Avoid comedy. When people are considering spending a vast amount of money on their forever home, jokes can be misleading and at worst, not funny.
As Oscar Wilde said, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” So make sure your property description ticks all the right boxes from the start.