Property Descriptions – Not To Be Ignored!

July 28th, 2023

Property Descriptions – Are they there to A) pad out the listing or B) provide useful and essential information?

In case you’re wondering – IT’S B!!!!

I love putting listings together but the hardest part for me is getting the description just right.  My photographer spends hours editing the video and photographs and I spend the same writing my descriptions.  So why then, do some buyers choose to have a brief flick through the photos and go to book a viewing, without reading the VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION or even watching the video?!

We live in a fast paced world and we’re all so damned busy and I get that, however… Is it better to spend 10 minutes researching a property before booking a viewing or spending an hour or more of your time (and mine) viewing a property that is clearly not meeting the criteria you have set for yourself.

Here are just a few of the reasons why it is crucial to read the property description beforehand:

  1. Filtering and Prioritising: Property descriptions contain key details about the property’s features, amenities, and location. By reading the description, you can quickly filter out properties that do not meet your criteria or preferences. This allows you to prioritise and focus on the listings that align with your needs, saving you from visiting properties that are not suitable.
  • Managing Expectations: The property description provides a comprehensive overview of the property’s attributes and condition. It gives you an idea of what to expect during the viewing. By managing your expectations based on the description, you can avoid potential disappointment if the property does not match what you had in mind.
  • Planning and Preparation: Reading the property description helps you plan and prepare for the viewing effectively. Knowing the property’s details in advance allows you to come prepared with relevant questions for the seller or real estate agent.
  • Avoiding Surprises: A well-written property description should highlight all aspects of the property such as condition and the level of work required.  Admittedly this is subjective so when you speak to the agent to book the viewing, ask questions before committing.  If there are any potential issues or drawbacks, they may be mentioned in the description. Being aware of such aspects beforehand can help you decide whether the property is worth considering or if it’s better to explore other options.
  • Time Efficiency: House-hunting can be a time-consuming process. By reading property descriptions first, you can quickly assess if a property aligns with your requirements. This saves you from unnecessary viewings and allows you to focus on properties that have a higher chance of meeting your criteria.
  • Clarifying Doubts: If you have specific questions about the property, the description might address some of them. It can provide essential information, such as the property’s age, recent renovations, or any included furnishings. This can give you a clearer picture before the viewing.

A good listing is an advertisement for the property and should include:

Photographs: The number may vary depending on the property but as a rule 8-16 works well.  Not 99 as I saw on one listing!

Video tour: Some agentsuse 360 degree virtual tours which pan around each room.  I like a video tour which give more information than the photographs – particularly good for awkwardly shaped rooms or showing gardens off to their full potential.

Floorplan: including room dimensions and total floor area.  If you’re upsizing or downsizing, wouldn’t you want to know the room dimensions?

Property description: A brief introduction paragraph with an overview of the property – this might mention it’s condition, location or size – it’s designed to grab your attention. Detail of the property internally (the rooms, their features and the benefit of those attributes (this is advertising) and externally (parking, gardens, views etc).

Additionally: Tenure (if leasehold – any associated charges), council tax band, energy performance rating, catchment schools, transport links and area information.

Having information up front empowers you to make informed decisions, ensuring that your time and efforts are well-utilized during the property search.

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