DIY - Sell Your House Yourself - How To Write Real Estate Copy That Sells - Part 2
You can do it, you can sell your house yourself!
In the first part of this article, we listed all the rooms on the main floor of your house, along with their most important features. Now you will move to the bedrooms, wherever they are located; in most cases this means going upstairs. Staircases, by the way, are a feature that has great emotional content, as do front doors, fireplaces, kitchens and baths. The mental image we all carry of what “home” looks like often includes a particular type of staircase, so describe any in your house with extra care as you write your ad.
List bedrooms beginning with the main one (real estate ads have increasingly moved away from gender-specific vocabulary, so “main bedroom” has replaced “master bedrooms” and the same holds true for baths).
List the baths, then ancillary rooms: playrooms, office, sewing room, etc. However, if a bath or dressing room or playroom is directly connected to any of the bedrooms, it should be noted along with that bedroom in the ad, for example, “spacious main bedroom with gorgeous tile bath,” or “large bedroom with playroom/dressing room.”
After you are finished with bedrooms, baths and other rooms on the main floors, it’s time to continue either up—if your house has three floors of living space—or down—if your house has a finished or partially finished basement. You will now list any rooms located in those areas, being sure to describe any details that make those rooms special.
In all starts with a sign on your front yard - here is the one that sold my house!
A finished basement deserves a place in your ad, whether it's a great room or an exercise space. And an unfinished basement can still be a very useful storage a
Describing your basement in a real estate ad
Basement rooms can present challenges when writing your ad, especially if part of the space is finished—meaning it has walls and ceilings covering the foundation and floor joists—and part is not. Questions such as whether or not a basement laundry room constitutes living space (and is therefore added to the total square footage of your house) can only be answered on a case-by-case basis. And what about a workshop, or an exercise room—do they count toward the total area of the house, or not?
The general rule is that to qualify as living space, a room must have finished floors and ceilings as well as heat or air conditioning; thus an enclosed, unheated porch would not count toward the total square footage of a house. Most often basement rooms are not added to the total area of the house even if they are heated and/or cooled (heated in northern regions, cooled in the south) unless there is also a ground level, walk out entrance to those rooms. If you can enter and exit your basement without going up a flight of stairs, your basement is a walk out and any finished, heated and/or cooled rooms in your basement should be counted as living space.
However, even if your basement does not qualify as living space, it may contain brag-worthy features. Newer heating or cooling systems, well-designed workshops, large laundry areas and easy-access utility areas all deserve a place on your list. (In the next article in this series I will give you a list of other features about which you should brag.)
You're going to need signs to sell your house!
Lots of legible signs were key in the sale of my house
Barns, fences & gardens all deserve mention
Previously in this series:
- DIY - Sell Your House Yourself - How To Write Real Estate Copy That Sells - Part 1
Whether you are selling your house yourself or working with a realtor, the ads that market your property are a critical component in how quickly it will sell. Learn how to write an ad that will present your home at its best, an ad that will reach out
- DIY - Sell Your House Yourself: How To Set An Asking Price - Part 2
How much money could you save if you sold your house without using a real estate broker? Find out how I saved thousands by doing exactly tat, and how you can, too!
- DIY - Sell Your House Yourself: How To Set An Asking Price - Part 1
If you are selling your house one of the hardest things to do is set a realistic asking price. Here's real, practical advice from someone who succeeded in selling a house without a realtor--and saved thousands by doing so!
- DIY - Sell Your House Yourself: How To Get Started
Selling a house is a difficult task, especially in today's market. However, I sold my own home, I sold it within 2 months, and I got a very fair asking price. This is the first in a series of articles that will explain exactly, in detail, how I did s
Storage areas, and your great outdoor living space
So describe your basement as carefully as the rest of your house, and then you are nearly done this part of the project, because only the attic remains to be discussed. Does your attic provide storage? If so, to what degree is that space finished—meaning walls and ceilings. The more finished it is, the more you can brag about it, but remember that an attic that provides terrific storage does not qualify as living space; just as is the case with basements, the test is fully finished space that is also heated and/or cooled. One big plus, however, is a walk up attic—meaning there are stairs going up to it—and an attic with pull-down stairs is a close second; both are worthy of inclusion on your list.
Once you have listed all the rooms, utility and storage areas of your house, it’s time to move outdoors. You already described your front yard, so what about the back yard? Decks, patios and gardens all should be added to your list, as well as detached garages (be sure to note how many cars it can hold) as well as barns, lawn sheds, ponds, arbors, fences or other yard structures. Obviously, the newer or better maintained these are, the more value they have. When we get to writing the actual ad I’ll help you deal with problem features, such as old, dilapidated out-buildings or fences, but for now list only the positive parts of your property.
(One note regarding barns and fences: If your property is a farm, whether a working business or a “gentleman’s farm,” your barns and fences may have much greater value and may therefore appear earlier in your ad than if you live in an urban or suburban setting. I have seen ad copy for ranches and farms that begin with the barn, in fact, and in many parts of the country that is a completely appropriate way to begin your ad.)
This is the sign you really want to see at the end of your driveway!
The most important feature of my house is:
We have now listed every part of your property, and quite an extensive list it is! Don’t worry, in the next article in this series I will guide you in crafting a well-written, productive ad based on your list.
But first let’s summarize:
The Ten Rules for Writing Real Estate Ad Copy That Sells:
- Use correct grammar and avoid abbreviations
- Use adjectives to describe each feature
- Describe the front exterior of your house first
- Describe the public areas of your house next
- Then move to the kitchen, great room, home office or any other room on the main floor
- Move upstairs (if your home has a second floor) and describe each room, beginning with bedrooms
- Describe a third floor next, or move to the basement
- Attic next
- Do not neglect to list useful storage space
- Then go outside and describe decks, patios, detached garages, barns, fences and sheds
(I am an artist and the author of the Suburban Sprawl series of novels as well as two nonfiction books. Find out more about my work at RobertaLeeArt.com.)
Copyright © Roberta Lee 2012. All rights reserved.
Next in this series:
- DIY - Sell Your House Yourself - How To Write Real Estate Copy That Sells - Part 3
Yes, you can sell your house yourself, even in today's challenging real estate market! But the ad you write is a critical component in your success; here is a useful guide (and part 3 in this series) on how to write an ad that will reach out to poten