Your Guide to Writing Listing Descriptions that Stand Out

The ultimate goal of every property owner hoping to sell is to list on mls. It is absolutely critical to have your home on the multiple listing service (MLS), as it is the most used real estate database in existence. 

Basically, if you don’t list on MLS, you are not going to sell your home, period. However, listing your home or property on MLS isn’t enough. There is stiff competition, even locally, and your listing has to stand out. 

While good photographs will go a long way, you should not let your listing rest on visuals alone. To really set yourself apart on the MLS, you also need to write listing descriptions that are not just good – but great. Here are a few tips for writing memorable listing descriptions.


Most people scrolling through the MLS are looking at photographs, however, an attention grabbing headline is just as important. 

Your headline should use language that matches the home to its specific area and highlights the best features. For example, you should use “Newly Renovated Ranch with a Private Lake” instead of “Ranch House with View.” 

The best way to headline, would be to also note the headlines of the other local listings. You don’t want to oversell it, but at the same time want to set your property apart from the rest. 

You have a limited amount of time to get a prospective buyer’s attention, and a well-written headline will help reel them in by giving them important information right from the top. 

Choose Words Wisely

It goes without saying that when you list on MLS, you need to choose your words wisely. Experts suggest you steer clear of vague words. For instance, don’t use “amazing” or “fantastic.” What might be amazing to one person wouldn’t suit the next and it gives the reader absolutely no information about the property. 

Instead, you want to use words that appeal to a buyer’s emotion. Try words like, “dramatic,” “luxurious,” “original,” or quaint.” These choices will entice a matching personality, as they not only appeal to the emotions but are also descriptive and informative. 

If you list multiple properties on MLS, make sure you carefully assign your headlines and descriptive words specifically for each property. You don’t want to use the same phrasing or headlines for different locations. 

Focus on High Points

There may be a temptation to describe every nook and cranny of the property and home, but there is limited space to place to list on MLS. You will want to highlight the very top, most amazing features of the listing first. 

If your heading has caught their eye, your first few sentences or bullet points should be the big selling points. For instance, if your home still has the original features from its time, you could state, “Original Victorian crown molding” to give the buyer a visual with more than photos. 

An important point to note, even the most humble of homes has a fantastic feature to highlight. There’s no need to hide less attractive aspects of a property. By focusing on the positive, a lot of the other less desirable features will be easier to overlook and accept. 

Keep it Brief

There are over 600 MLS in the United States, that’s a lot of data! While most of that is filtered down to local areas, time is of the essence when listing on the MLS.  

As mentioned, a good headline will draw in your potential buyers and give them just enough information to want to look closer. After that, your choice of words to focus on the high points will keep them interested enough to continue reading the fine points. However, in every description that you list on MLS – keep it brief.

The fact is, you will be automatically limited to the amount of characters you have for your listing description anyway, but it is suggested that you don’t exceed 200 words. You will want to be sure to include the essential information. 

There’s not a huge need to plead to emotions in this portion of the listing, focus on the basic information so the buyer can determine if the property is even suitable for a closer look. Include the square footage of the home, and the lot size. Oftentimes people are filtering by these parameters anyway as they have certain needs right from the start. 

Write a little bit about the neighborhood, if you are close to a family friendly feature, walkable town, or fun attractions, it can be a huge selling point. 

Final Thoughts

When you list on MLS, your main goal is to attract the attention of potential buyers. By learning how to write listing descriptions that stand out, you will generate a lot of interest in your property. 

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Adam Regan
Adam Regan
Deputy Editor

Features and account management. 3 years media experience. Previously covered features for online and print editions.


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