What a Copywriter Knows About Selling a House

Julie A Broad asked:

You might think that the best way to sell your house in a slumping market is to price it low and then just get it listed on every website you can. But you may find, like many of my neighbors have, that is not enough. Most realtors and home sellers make the same mistake when it comes to creating the listings for these homes.

Here’s the listing for one of the townhomes in my area:

“Small complex located in the heart of Burnaby Heights. Rarely available beautiful corner unit at very desirable Red Brick Heights. Only two years old, this gorgeous three bedroom, 2 bathroom unit is 1375 square feet, also has a loft on the third floor. Oversized panoramic rooftop balcony with a beautiful view of the North Shore Mountains. Open plan with gourmet kitchen with real wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances with granite countertop and hardwood on the main floor. These high quality units do not last so be quick before it is gone. Low strata fee and well managed.”

A copywriter skilled at their craft would never write like this. The best copywriters start their copy knowing what their prospect already feels about the product – in this case, the product is the house. And lately the real estate market has made many people feel scared. It’s also made others feel like there’s real opportunity. So it’s likely that many prospective purchasers’ desire for a home is being met with an even greater fear of what might happen to their investment if they buy one or a desire to capitalize on the market crash.

If you have to sell your house, you need to acknowledge that fear or the desire to make money – not, as was done in the above example, try to create a fake sense of urgency. And you need to appeal to the positive emotions that might make someone want to buy a house even in troubled times.

Beginning with the features of the house and trusting the prospect to respond positively to the fact that it’s only two years old, with a panoramic rooftop view and a gourmet kitchen, is what the competition is selling. Instead, think about the prospect and how he might feel about those features (how it feels to cook for your family in a great kitchen… and open the door to see the mountains in the morning… and know your money is safely invested in this high-quality/well-located home). Then carefully craft each part of your listing to support those emotions and benefits – with pictures, maps, and words, all directed to get those emotions working toward the sale of the home. I think that is exactly what an expert copywriter would do. And I bet that, in combination with the right price, would sell my neighbors’ houses.

Selling A House?

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