August 11, 2020

Top 10 Overused Real Estate Terms

Today's Greenwich real estate listings create a live, real-time catalog of homes from Architecture Digest-worthy estates to the humblest fixers. When the nuts and bolts of a property fill the prospective buyer's housing requirements, in addition to the photos which illustrate their subject at its glamorous best, there's an additional element that can make any Greenwich listing stand out from its neighbors: the descriptive text.

The writeup may play a supporting role, but even so, it's a description that can add context and atmospherics that tip the scale from interest to curiosity—or, better yet—to enthusiasm. Creating Greenwich listing texts is a task that deserves care and energy. That being said, if the result is verbiage that is overly flowery, it's bound to alienate realistic readers (the ones who matter most). But— too bland, and it's just a wasted opportunity.

A while ago, there appeared a compilation of words and phrases most frequently used in real estate listings. It might be taken as a template for the most effective listing wording—but popularity might not equal effectiveness. Let's face it: cliches don't necessarily inspire. With that in mind, here's the list:

  1. Beautiful. Arguably, "elegant," "tasteful," "captivating"—anything but "beautiful"!
  2. Hardwood floors. How about an intriguing description of the wood's hue or surface— not to mention the variety of wood.
  3. Stainless steel. It's a positive, but more interesting would be an added descriptor like "gleaming," "lustrous," or "spotless."
  4. Updated. Hard to believe this uninviting adjective is among the most commonly used. "remodeled," "redesigned," or "renewed" are more likely to evoke the thoughtful craftsmanship that's gone into the renewal.
  5. Private. Actually, this is one cliché that works well. "Discrete" is another one.
  6. Spacious. This is a neutral-sounding word. Depending on just how spacious the area is, more engaging words like "enormous," "expansive," or "cavernous" might work better.
  7. Landscaped. When this appears by itself, it begs for help—like "to perfection," "stunningly," "exquisitely," or "lusciously."
  8. Custom. This describes an important value-increasing element, but the word itself could use a boost: "custom-crafted," "tailor-made," "unique," "personalized," etc.
  9. Clean. Unless it's part of an architectural phrase like "clean lines." Better: "spotless," "immaculate," or "flawless.
  10. Brand-new. This one works: deservedly a Top-10 value-increaser.

 

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