real estate listing descriptions

How to Write Inspiring Real Estate Listing Descriptions


At some point in your real estate career, you’re going to need the ability to write inspiring real estate listing descriptions to sell properties fast. Being a real estate agent requires you to be a great seller and one of the first impressions potential buyers will have of you is the real estate listing descriptions you write for your properties.

Sometimes, properties can practically sell themselves—as long as they are priced right, promoted correctly, and the property listing description plainly conveys why it is the bargain of a lifetime. In order to do this, you need to use inspiring ad copy to motivate a buyer to action.

Basic structure for writing real estate listing descriptions

The first thing about writing compelling real estate ads is not to look like everyone else. Property listings tend to be similar. Don’t blend in with the crowd, as you won’t be noticed. Let’s begin with the basic structure for all ads:

  • Headline
  • Opening statement
  • Narrative description of features
  • Special promotion
  • Call to action

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Guidelines for crafting stand-out real estate listing descriptions

Even if you’re not a natural writer you can still make your real estate listing descriptions shine by following a simple formula.


Posting your real estate listing descriptions on websites like Craigslist, eBay Classifieds, and Backpage requires an eye-catching, different-looking headline.

Since you only have one shot to get a buyer to notice your ad in a split second, come up with a way to stand out from the crowd. Can you make a reader do a double-take? Can you make your headline stick out like a sore thumb?

Look at typical real estate ads and you will notice they tend to be similar and boring. How would you react if you read an ad among 24 others that is in capital letters and says, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? 12 Acres of Wooded Land for HOW MUCH?” If you were looking for raw land, would you click on it?

You must write headlines that look different to catch attention. Your headline must stand out in a crowd. It must be noticed.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing headlines:

  • Short and sweet: Try not to make your headline more than five to seven words.
  • Emotive: Use powerful, descriptive words to evoke a response. You can score your potential headlines with this analyzer to determine if they’re using words that would grab the attention of the right readers.
  • Try several drafts: Don’t always settle on the first headline you write. Try to create seven different headlines — you’ll probably find they improve as you begin to iterate.

Opening statement

Get right to the point in your first sentence. Inform your readers immediately what this real estate ad is all about.

You can write something like this:

“You’ll love this stunning 3-story home located 2 blocks from McNally Elementary in downtown Preston.” Or “Come see this pleasant Tudor home with an open kitchen plan and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.”

These two opening statements answer what a reader often asks (“What am I looking at?”) and gives them a reason to continue reading.

Narrative description of features

Let the fun begin. In this section, you should do two things: first, list the property’s primary features, next, provide an inspiring and compelling description.

  1. Primary features include: number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, lot size, location, extras (pool, garden, fireplace, etc.), recent renovations (appliances, doors, floors, etc.), and unique characteristics (lakefront lot, scenic views, etc.).
  2. Here are two examples to help you craft an inspiring and compelling description:

Example #1: Typical ad copy

“Air conditioning unit, new furnace, all appliances included. Basement walks out to the fenced backyard. Huge deck in the back. Lots of updates.”

Example #2: Better ad copy

“You will love this delightful 3-story Tudor with old-world charm and breathtaking views of Beaver Lake. This 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom home has a 2-car garage—giving you 1,800 sq. ft. of spacious elegance, natural oak floors throughout, and a modern gourmet kitchen. Imagine cuddling up to a cozy fireplace with a good book. Every night, drift off to sleep to the subtle sounds of the natural lake and forest, then wake up to a spectacular sunrise over the lake. All of this is situated in a convenient, friendly neighborhood with outstanding schools, only twenty minutes from marvelous Beaver City.”

The use of descriptive words may require using a thesaurus, but it’s well worth the extra effort.

Special promotion

If your goal is to sell your listing fast, a special promotion can give your readers an incentive to take action. Here are some examples:

  • Offer a small discount on the sales price for a limited time.
  • Offer 100% of the buyer’s closing costs for a limited time.
  • Offer seller financing. This is always attractive, as banks require too many documents and questions.
  • Offer either a lease purchase or rent-to-own.

These are just a few promotions you might include in your real estate listing descriptions. Feel free to be creative with incentives.

Call to action

Conclude with a call to action (CTA) that tells your buyers how to act. There is nothing wrong with conveying a sense of urgency at the end of your real estate listing descriptions. Here are two examples:

  • “This house is only available to the first buyer who acts NOW. Call xxx – xxxx.”
  • “Why are you still reading this? CALL NOW!”

Beyond the basic elements outlined above, two very important things to remember when writing real estate listing descriptions are, firstly, don’t hype or oversell, as people will recognize when you’re exaggerating. Also, never lie in your real estate ads.

About the course author

Steven Rich, MBA has over three years of experience as a successful real estate agent. He teaches for our sister site, Colibri Real Estate. He was awarded the Top Condo Salesperson for two of those years by his real estate company. Steven has served as Associate Editor for a real estate magazine and is the author of a 104-page e-book on How to Buy, Develop, Lease, and Sell Real Estate.