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How Property Description Can Make or Kill a Real Estate Sale
March 04, 2019

Hi Everyone,

How Property Description Can Make or Kill a Real Estate Sale

Having seen so many property descriptions in my translation and research work, I'm always amused to see how realtors, developers and property owners use this important marketing tool to their success (or failure?) in real estate sales.

This time I'd like to share with you some of my experience of helping a Russian investor in his search for a suitable condo for sale in South Florida. (He outlined the price range to begin with, also that the unit will be for renting out and not much else actually.)

Well, there are many thousands of properties listed. Where to start? First we have to limit our search area somehow, and I offer one which is known for a convenient location close to highways, shopping, entertainment and the beach, thus the rental market is good there (I'll find the actual stats later on to include in my final report of course).

There is a problem with this area though - no good schools around, but for investing in a condo it might be not that critical as for investing in a single family home (usually families with kids would occupy those, while people without kids would prefer to rent a condo carefree). Actually in our case this fact may be even sort of an advantage, as property prices are rather low here in comparison with some other areas (of course any investor wants to buy cheaper, but not junk that will be difficult to rent out).

Okay, now hundreds of listing to explore… I start opening them one by one - as any potential buyer would do - to decide what to put on the preliminary list of prospects for the investor. It should be in dozens as some listings I will drop later for a number of reasons (irresponsive realtors, unfavorable details - like unreasonably expensive maintenance - will be discovered, under contract, sold or delisted by the time of the investor’s visit, etc.) to leave only solid prospects.

As usual there are so many dull and incomplete listings that my first filter stops (see, those listing realtors have already killed their opportunity to sell - to this investor at least). A dozen or so will compile my final list after getting the necessary details from the listing realtors (this second filter would definitely eliminate listings of lazy and unprofessional realtors, but it's another topic…)

Now here's one of the good descriptions I've found and immediately put on the list of prospects, and almost certainly it'll stay there as the realtor seems to know her stuff (although the building is nothing fancy as I remember it by seeing from the street, but the numbers positively make sense for investing in it):

"New Roof, New Seawall, Dockage available. Investment/end user opportunity. All reasonable offers considered. Waterfront 2Bd/1bth, FULLY furnished unit, new hurricane impact windows/doors, new A/C, Tile/Porcelain Flooring, Open kitchen. Pool & laundry facilities on premises. EXCELLENT INVESTMENT (6+ CAP), end user or BOTH. Rent for 3-12 months; use for personal use. Calming Intercoastal view from living, dining, kitchen. Dockage. Walking access to Starbucks, supermarkets, shopping, entertainment. Walk/ bike to beach. Villages of Gulfstream, Mardi Grass casino nearby. Small pets OK. Rents for: $1600- $2200/M. The city sets for major improvements and expansion."

And here's the champion of a realtor's laziness:

"Just Reduced" (That's it!? Possibly it's a sound investment and the owner is willing to reduce the price under his personal circumstances, but how much work will it require to uncover the truth from this unprofessional realtor - no way to even start doing that! A lost case of course… There are so many other listings…)

Well, there are two things that your potential buyer would see first of all - before he considers whether to send you an inquiry: DESCRIPION and photos (another topic). And as you always face a severe competition from other properties for sale in your area, type and price range, make sure that your first impression is better than others - you have only one chance to form the first impression, right?

A thought on the side: to create a good or great property description doesn't cost a dime more than a poor one, but can bring you a sale!

I'd suggest that before writing your own description you might go through your competitors' already published - to see how you can do better and attract more attention of a potential buyer.

To your best business success,


Olga Kellen,
"Anything Russian",
English - Russian Translator,
Associate member of ATA,
Author of the e-books for realtors and property sellers
Selling to Russians

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