[REN #127] Word Combinations That Sell Homes Faster and for Higher Prices

New research is showing that certain word pairs appear to translate into faster sales and higher home prices. And some words that just don’t help sell a home at all. Wouldn’t you like to know that before you list your home?

CoreLogic researchers looked at more than 1 million single-family transactions in 2016 to see if there’s a national trend in the use of certain words for listings. They say they filtered out differences in pricing, geography and home features at the local level to better understand the effect the words had on sales. And, they did “not” include distressed properties, like REOs and short sales, because they are usually priced lower, and sell faster than other homes.

Some of the word pairs that appeared in listings with a shorter sales cycle included things like “fenced backyard”, “open concept”, “natural light”, and “updated kitchen”. Those properties tended to sell more quickly.

The word fence appeared in “four” word combinations including “fully fenced”, “fenced backyard”, “fenced back” and “fenced yard”. CoreLogic says it indicates that privacy is a top priority for homebuyers. And for sellers with homes that don’t have a fence, CoreLogic says you may want to consider installing one before you put the home on the market.

Other word pairs that had a positive impact on sales, include “finished basement”, “move-in ready”, “new stainless”, “vaulted ceiling”, and “single story”.

On a list of word pairs with a negative impact was “gourmet kitchen”. That’s a little puzzling given that “update kitchen” was favorable. CoreLogic says it may be due to the fact that “gourmet kitchen” is associated with a home that is more expensive, and less affordable.

Other word pairs that won’t do much to sell your home is “golf course”, “ceramic tile”, “granite countertops”, “large kitchen”, “custom-built”, and “formal dining”. Word combinations that indicate the home has two floors were not helpful either. Those include “two stories”, “first floor”, and “second floor”. The presumption here is that many buyers prefer a home without stairs.

The researchers also looked at terms that describe location, condition, and design, and their effect on price. They say properties with words that relate to great locations, like “overlook” and “steps to the beach”, will command a higher price. Listings with the words “hill” and “park” also generally sell at a higher price.

“Finish” and “best” seem to help portray that the home is in good condition. And the words “slide” for sliding door, “central” for central AC, and Spanish for the Spanish Mediterranean style, all seem to be good words for higher pricing.

“Fireplace” is apparently “not” a word that will give you good results. It is generally associated with more upscale homes, so it may have the same impact as “gourmet kitchen” and “golf course” in portraying a more expensive home, instead of a value home.

In general, Core Logic says that properties in good locations, under good conditions, and with desirable design features, are more attractive to buyers, than properties without them. They say these attributes are “true measurements” of the properties appeal to buyers — and, that in many ways, they have a bigger impact on pricing than sellers and realtors may realize, “if” a home is properly marketed.

If you are selling your home, you need to know how to entice people to come to it. And if you are buying a home, perhaps you should look for properties that are not well marketed, as you may be able to negotiate a better price.

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