Reading the classifieds can be like reading in a foreign language, or worse, a formula for certain disaster — overzealous words in real estate advertising can make even a snake pit sound attractive. Don't panic. Real estate expert Barbara Corcoran decodes some of the language and abbreviations to put you well on the way to buying and selling the home of your dreams.
The most misleading words in real estate (and what they really mean)
1. Cozy (too small)
2. Charming (too old)
3. Original condition (appliances are 50 years old)
4. Needs TLC (it's a dump)
5. Conveniently located (noisy)
6. Desirable neighborhood (this little house has been way overpriced because the neighborhood has some snob appeal)
7. Efficient kitchen (too small to fit two adults)
8. One-car garage (you can drive your Chevy in, but can't get out)
9. Peek at the park/river/mountains (if you angle your mirror just so)
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10. Useable land (no trees)
11. Beachfront steal (no hurricane insurance available at any price)
12. Country living (too far from anywhere to drive to work)
13. Must see inside (outside is ugly)
14. Unique (hard to sell)
15. Just available (previous owner just died on the premises, hope you don't mind)
Check out the competition
Here's what's important if you want to advertise your house to sell: Compare your home to similar-sized homes in your neighborhood. Compare them online and in your local newspaper. Also, be sure to know the median price in your neighborhood.
Write a classified ad that gets buyers calling
1. Write a headline that grabs attention. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the headline is the most important thing in writing a successful ad. Examples: "No Closing Costs" or "Close in 7 Days."
2. Use emotion-evoking words; appeal to the emotions. Examples: "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" or "How to Live Happily Ever After"
3. Appeal to status. Examples: "Custom Colonial Comforts" or "Superb French Country Home"
4. Think about who your likely buyer is and appeal to their specific need. Examples: "Best School Neighborhood" or "Easy Commute to Downtown."
5. Play up what's new; new sells. Example: "A New Gourmet Kitchen and More."
6. Include all the vital statistics — number of bedrooms and baths, location, square footage, price and ZIP code. If the price is left out, buyers don't call.
According to the NAR, 70 percent of all buyers look for their new home online.
1. Post on high-traffic Web sites: homestore.com, zillow.com, trulia.com, Craigs List.
2. Include your address and town, and always your ZIP code. It's how online buyers shop.
3. Include 6 good photos online; people shop by photos.
4. Use good lighting and a wide-angle lens.
5. Upload your home video to wellcomemat.com. WellcomeMat is the real estate version of YouTube. You can even find a videographer there.
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