When you're marketing your listing, there is a treasure trove of information about what one person or household loved in the house: their sellers. Whether you're selling a new house or an old one, there's no shortage of information to go on. Your seller likely fell head-over-heels in love with their home, and that can't be ignored when promoting it online!
You might think this doesn't apply to you since yours is just a typical "colorless" listing page, but creativity should always come out when creating descriptions for homes!
Step one: Ask Your Sellers To Answer These Questions
Collect the answers via email only if your sellers are willing to dig deep on their answers in writing. Otherwise, this should be a conversation you have with the sellers, where you’re asking follow-up questions and pulling more memories out of them.
Start with the basic details (even if you already know the answers, this will get the seller into the storytelling mindset):
When did you buy this house?
How long have you lived there?
Walk them back to where they were in life when they purchased the home.
Why did you want to buy a house at that point in time?
Why did you start looking at homes in this neighborhood?
Do you remember when you first saw this house advertised for sale?
Do you remember walking inside for the first time?
Then ask them to consider their fondest memories inside the house.
What life events have you experienced in this house?
Describe what it’s like to wake up every morning inside the house.
How do you start your day?
Explain what it’s like to come home to this house after a long day at work.
How is dinner usually served or prepared? Where do you eat?
Discuss your experience of leisure and entertainment in this house.
How does the house help enhance your appreciation of natural events? (Adjust these questions to fit your region!)
What features in the house keep it comfortable when it’s cold or hot outside?
What will you miss the most when you leave?
This is a chance for your sellers to tell you anything about the house that they haven’t already.*
* you can find more helpful questions in our resource download below.
Pro tip: Record your interview so that you can refer back to memories and responses without having to ask your sellers to repeat themselves.
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Step two: Determine what buyers will find most enticing
Read back through the seller’s responses and apply what you know about the buyers in your area. What trends are you seeing in terms of demographics, household configurations, life stages? What hobbies or interests are common that the sellers also share? What features does the house have that make it a real home to these owners?
You don’t want to rewrite the entire questionnaire. Pick two or three storylines that stand out to you as especially appealing or interesting from a buyer’s point of view. What is going to make them feel like this could be their next home?
Step three: Write the ode
Decide which storyline is going to dominate and which one or two you’d like to support it. Try to paint a picture with your words as much as you can to capture the feeling of sitting by a fireplace while the snow is softly falling outside, accumulating on the windowsills, and how the outdoor lights catch the flakes as they drift down toward the ground.
Or how the close proximity of the condo to the city center made it easy for the owner to catch every baseball, football, and basketball game of the season, and how the friendly condo community set up “away” game watch parties in the rec room on the enormous projector, and you and your neighbors made a point to always bring snacks and beverages to share.
If this is difficult for you, consider finding a writer to help you with the previous step and this one. A good writer should be able to produce a short (but memorable and heartfelt) ode to a house they’ve never walked through if you can help them imagine it. And if you’re not sure where to find one, you can request writing assistance through Placester!)
Step four: Ask the sellers to review and add anything that’s missing
It’s always wise to ask the sellers whether you or the writer accurately captured their experience. Ask them to read over the ode and ask them whether there are any anecdotes or images they think are missing. They’ll know better than anyone else that you’re selling the house on its merits!
January 12, 2022
(Last updated on
June 22, 2023
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