The Best and Worst Real Estate Ad Terms

Real Estate Ad Terms

Some folks might think using words like “charming,” or “spacious” in a properly listing is smart and would result in a higher sale price. But in reality the opposite is true. Here are 10 common real estate ad terms. Half of them have strong positive correlations with a higher sale price, and the other half is negatively correlated.


According to the book Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, the 5 terms correlated to a higher sale price are:

  1. Granite
  2. Maple
  3. Corian
  4. State of the art
  5. Gourmet

And the 5 terms correlated to a lower sale price are:

  1. Fantastic
  2. Charming
  3. Spacious
  4. Great neighborhood
  5. !

Words such as Granite, Maple, and Corian (a countertop brand,) are all definitive physical descriptions of a home. It tells any potential buyer exactly what the property is like. The terms Gourmet and State of the art, also connotes a place that’s ready to move in.

But on the other hand words like Fantastic can be a misleading description, as are other ambiguous terms such as Charming or Spacious. These words aren’t tangible enough to tell the buyer anything specific about the property. Mentioning a “Great neighborhood” might signal that this particular house isn’t that great and may not have any specific attributes worth mentioning, but at least other homes nearby are pretty nice. The last word on the list isn’t really a word; it’s an exclamation point. It feels like a feeble attempt to cover real shortcomings of the home with a false sense of enthusiasm!

The book also broke down the language used in a listing for a real estate agent’s own home. She indeed emphasize adjectives like new, granite, maple, and move-in condition. She avoided empty and interpretive portrayals like wonderful, immaculate, or the overused exclamation point. She used every advantage she had to increase her final sale price, including telling potential buyers that a nearby house recently sold for $50,000 above the asking price. But that doesn’t make her a bad person. Realtors are people too. They’re simply looking for closure.

Most of us will buy or sell at least one home in our lives so it’s helpful to understand the subtle word usage in real estate marketing that realtors don’t want us to know. This way we can disregard meaningless descriptions when purchasing, while getting the most money when selling. 🙂 There is no certainty with economic models however, so even if we manage to include all 5 words correlated to the ultimate sale price, it’s no guarantee that our home will sell at a high price. But the point is to increase its chances to do so. 😀

Random Useless Fact:

This is a rare photo of an inbread dog.


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06/27/2016 3:55 pm

First thing that comes to mind: ‘A fool and his money are soon parted’.

Taking over my portfolio
Taking over my portfolio
06/28/2016 4:46 am

Thanks for this post. I am thinking of putting my house up for sale by owner so any little trick is helpful:)

Stone sample case
Stone sample case
07/05/2016 12:47 am

I like thess villas.