Note from the Ninjas:

Seeing as we’re a Canadian company, we wouldn’t normally publish a guest blog article written by a REALTOR® in the USA. Having said that, after reading Diana’s contribution we decided that the information within was too good not to share. She presents really important information in a very easy-to-digest format that will make you take a step back and look at the way you’re communicating. Hope you learn something – let us know what you thought in the comments at the bottom!


We’ve all heard the old saying, “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” However, in real estate, it’s about what you say AND how you say it.

As a REALTOR®, you have one shot to make a first impression, and the way you phrase a listing or talk about a house is going to be a major factor in not only who buys your home, but who takes the time to come check it out in the first place.

At least once in your professional life as a REALTOR®, you’ll come across a house and think to yourself “How in the world am I going to sell this?” You thought you were selling mansions in Sunset Islands Miami but instead are surrounded by fixer uppers in the middle of nowhere. It may need a lot of work, be in a less than desirable location, or have an owner who is unwilling to budge on a ridiculous asking price.

Time to get creative with the communication...
Time to get creative with the communication...

These things are usually out of your control, and cannot be easily changed. It is in these types of situations that a REALTOR® must fine-tune their creativity, perception and communication skills to help potential homebuyers see the beauty amongst all of the chaos. Whether you’re selling a home that is just a hot mess to begin with, or you are working with homebuyers who have a hard time seeing beyond the faults and issues instead of focusing on the potential and the opportunity that the home possesses, what you say can make or break the deal.

Here’s how to avoid the latter:

What You Say Adds Value

Research shows that specific real estate related keywords can positively impact a person’s perception of a property. Words like luxurious, captivating and upgraded give off the impression that this property is better than other properties in some way. Saying the home has been “updated” indicates that not only is the property not old and outdated, but it functions well and has been improved upon recently. Mentioning an upgrade or a remodel demonstrates that the home is well taken care of, that time and effort has been put into the home to make it a beautiful and fully functioning place to live.

Referring to the materials used to make certain aspects of the home can also add value. Granite, marble, stainless steel, tile or hardwoods are all descriptive words that give each feature of the room more detail. Granite countertops sounds more impressive than “counters” and “walk in shower with imported tile” has a nicer ring than “large shower.” These small details add value to your description and make even the most mundane feature sound impressive. Of course, only use these descriptive words if the house actually has what you’re describing. More on “embellishing” later.

When buying a home, families want to picture their family living in and enjoying the space. Using words like “spacious, well-maintained, spotless & open” help people picture themselves living in the home comfortably. Using words that focus on feelings rather than concrete details can also make a big difference in how your home is perceived. Instead of mentioning that the office is an office (duh) you can point out how quiet it is, how that wall would be great for a built in bookshelf, how the windows let in natural lighting which is nice when you’re staring at a computer.

A kitchen is a kitchen is a kitchen, but when you pinpoint how quiet the dishwasher is, how easy the floors are to clean, how the open floor plan allows for the person making dinner to also communicate with people watching TV in the living room, they begin to see what their normal, everyday life would feel like in this home, and that is where the home buying magic happens.

What You Say Can Decrease Value

Just as all of those fluffy words can add value to the home, there are words and phrases that, although they may be true, can leave a negative impression on homebuyers. This mainly happens when selling a home that needs a little work. Mentioning that it needs some TLC, that it’s an “investment” or a “bargain” makes it sounds like you’re trying to sell listings at a garage sale.

What do you see? Looks like a great option for first time homebuyers to me!
Looks like a great option for first time homebuyers!

Unless you’re selling the listing as a “fixer-upper,” don’t draw so much attention to all of the work the buyer is signing up for. Instead, focus on the location, the proximity to great schools, or how it is a great option for first time homebuyers. Avoid words like “tiny” or “modest” and use every REALTOR’S® favorite word, “cozy” or  “quaint” instead.

The Phrase That Pays

A tiny kitchen isn’t tiny, it’s compact. A small dining room isn’t a small dining room, it’s a cozy breakfast nook. The home isn’t old, it’s traditional, and a house isn’t “secluded” it is “tucked away from traffic & noise” or “private.” Finding the right words to describe any room or feature of a home can make or break your listing. However, it is very important to find the word that accurately represents what you’re trying to convey, and maybe spruces it up a little bit. Homeowners aren’t dumb, and they don’t like feeling tricked or misled, so make double sure your word choice is descriptive, but more importantly that it is accurate.

Don’t exaggerate about the square footage of the home, don’t say it’s a “waterfront property” if there’s a retention pond in the backyard, and don’t say it’s a four bedroom home if there are three bedrooms and a really big closet. You won’t be in business long if word gets out that you exaggerate or embellish your listings.

Silence Isn’t Always Golden

And what you DON’T say is just as important as what you DO say. If you “forget” to mention the leaky roof, the termites, the ghost in the garage, whatever it is that you’re worried may deter people from buying the home, that’s just as bad as lying about it.

For Sale Sign - Not Haunted

Your reputation and success as a REALTOR® are based on your ethics just as much as they are based on your experience and expertise. Being upfront and honest in your advertising techniques and descriptions is vital in a successful and profitable professional relationship between you and homebuyers. There is a way to present even the least desirable features of a home in an upbeat and honest way that homebuyers will appreciate.

REALTORS® are usually “people-people” and confident speakers by nature. They love people, love helping others, and use the “gift of gab” to do their job on a daily basis. Successful REALTORS® know the importance of choosing the right words and phrasing things just the right way to sell listings without jeopardizing their ethics.

What you say is just as important as how you say it, and knowing how to balance the two is key to getting properties sold quickly.


This has been a guest Dojo post by Diana Eastman from www.Sky5Properties.com

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