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Sometimes you just gotta smile

Posted by Rona Fischman May 6, 2009 03:35 PM

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Sometimes, real estate writing is just amusing. It is easy to be amused if it isn’t your house.

Some of the listing sheets that fill the MLS system are terrible advertising for houses. I have clients who stay on the MLS for years after they bought their properties. Why? Some like to follow the market. But most enjoy reading the remarks as exercises in creative (or uncreative) writing. The spring market is the best time to find the best and the worst of remarks. So, if you read ads for your amusement, sign up for the MLS sometime soon. Or if you are interested in the best of the worst, there is a national website for listing sheets that advertise what they don’t intend to.

If you are the book-reading sort, I would recommend Sex and Real Estate . It talks about trends in real estate advertising and how homes are written about.

But, I digress… back to those ads which amuse my former buyers. Over the years, I have seen some real howlers…

Some mistakes are typos: “burn this one into your dream house”
Some fail for want of punctuation: “huge living room parking for six cars.”
Some fail in their choice of pictures. One of my Happy Homeowners sent me this Lexington listing. I am sure that is not the only house they are selling.

Advice for sellers: look your house up on MLS and all other posting sites. See what the buyers are seeing. You may be surprised, happily or unhappily.

Sometimes the MLS sheets are intentionally over-the-top. Getting attention is what these sheets are all about. It is risky to go out on a limb to be creative. Today, I share my nominee for Most Creative Ad of 2009:

Playful, ginormous home. Overtly blithe – dare you to be in a bad mood here…impossible. From the vibrant colors to the recycled glass counters to the unique angles, you get a sense of singularity. This kind of charm is hard to define….

I could not let this ad go by without sharing it with you. Not only did I notice it; it made me smile when I read it. I didn’t think “this condo is dopey.” It made me think, “this condo is fun!” Bravo, to the authors. Not only that, but this marketing worked. The MLS sheet drew attention. I got a great (more staid) listing sheet inviting me to the broker open house. The condo had an accepted offer on it in less than two weeks. There is some blithe buyer out there who is buying this happy property.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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