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Words Matter!

Boyd Rudy

When it comes to real estate, Boyd Rudy has been around the block more than a few times...

When it comes to real estate, Boyd Rudy has been around the block more than a few times...

Feb 8 4 minutes read

This might sound like common sense, but many agents still seem to forget that their words can mean the difference between selling a home in 1 week, generating multiple offers, and selling over appraisal or letting a home sit on the market for upwards of 3 months, taking the first offer that comes in and selling for way under what their client was expecting. I wanted to take a moment and show you some commonly used words and phrases in real estate descriptions that are pure poison in the ear of a buyer. In fact, these particular phrases have been directly linked to lower sale prices. 

1. "Motivated Seller"- If you are simply trying to sell your home for any old amount, this is the phrase for you. This one line can take away all of your negotiating power with a buyer. "Motivated Seller" sounds like "desperate to sell" which means, although your home is listed at $200,000, you might be willing to accept any old offer. So why would I, as a buyer, come in at $200,000 when you are so motivated to sell? You will get nothing but low-ball offers with language like this.

2.  "Vacant"- When you hear something is vacant, do you conjure up something with fresh carpet and paint and a new roof? I certainly don't. My image of a vacant home looks something like this: 

That is what most buyers envision as well. 

3. "Price Drop"- Or any variation of this phrase. The obvious first question is "why"? When someone is selling a home, their motivation is usually to get the MOST money for it. So when a buyer sees a reduction in price being advertised, they assume that there is something significantly wrong with the house. Right now, most home buyers have probably put offers in on a few homes. Which means that they understand that bidding wars are going on all the time. Why would anyone shoot for a home that has just reduced its price in a market that is driving prices up?

4. "Good Buy"- This associates the word cheap in the buyer's mind. The logical question for this phrase is "says who?" Much like "Motivated Seller", this will bring you lower offers. Think of the last time you went appliance shopping. When you saw a "great buy" tag on a TV or Dishwasher, did you instantly want to buy it? Most likely you had several more questions about the product because it set off alarms in your head.

5. "Repairs"- Stay away from this word at all costs. What gets repaired? Things that are broken. 

6. "Good Location"- As much as you hear "location, location, location", this may seem counter intuitive. However, this phrase was linked to much lower sale prices, and fewer offers. Primarily because most home buyers already know where they want to live, they see the "over-stressing" of location in a listing as overcompensation. 

The underlying factor in all of these terms is that they do not create a sense of exclusivity or urgency to the buyer. Buyers inherently want what they think they can't have. Why do you think magazines feature flashy sports cars on the cover? Because they are exotic. A good Realtor will make your home seem exotic and exclusive, making the buyer want your home more than any other on the market. You should interview Realtors before listing your home. There are 20 interview questions you need to ask each one. Please take the list here and use it to hire the right Realtor for you!

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