The art of selling a home begins with the Madison listings. Much serious study is continuously given to what works best when it comes to listing language and detail, yet a good deal remains a purely creative exercise.
That qualifying “somewhat” is necessary because creating a Madison listing does have a scientific component. In fact, of the two most important elements (that is, the two that listing readers pay the most attention to), one is mathematical. The first is the artistic “hero shot” photo of the home, ideally pictured at its curb-appealing best. The second is the asking price, which is an unambiguous number of dollars.
The photo grabs attention either by fitting a pleasing archetype—or by just being pretty. The asking price number works (or fails to work) by either being too high, just right, or intriguingly low. If it’s too high, the listing price can sometimes draw further attention out of curiosity (“what are they thinking?”)—but will probably result in listing readers moving on. If the number is just right or lower than expected, serious house hunters will be engaged—taking the first step toward a showing and sale.
Further down as influencers are each of the listed facts about the property. Any one or two of these might either pique further interest or take the place out of the running. But Madison listings also contain another creative element: the language. Modifying adjectives can persuade by setting a mood or a tone—or even making a promise. Accuracy is paramount—when I compose a listing, I’m summoning the most exciting language that accurately describes the property, because exaggerating can spoil the atmosphere when we get to the showing stage.
A few years back, IBM’s app Wordle was used to address the question of what the most frequently used listing words were. After analyzing 300,000 listings, the resulting compilation demonstrates that almost all the top rankers had adjectives attached:
- Hardwood (with “floors”)
- stainless (with “steel appliances”)
- great (with “room”)
- wood burning (with “fireplace”)
There were also some creative action-oriented phrases:
- Priced to sell
- Build your dream (with “home” or “house”)
- Must see
- Move-in ready
Listings are the Grand Opening of the business venture that is the selling of your Madison home. I make it a focus as we launch that venture—but it’s only one step in the process that ultimately ends in your handing off the front door keys to your satisfied customer!
Jen Stauter Kornstedt
HomeTeam4U-Stark Company Realtors
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