What's in a Word? Do Specific Ad Words Work or Can they Hurt?

Words Matter - University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada conducted a study and dissected the wording of more than 20,000 Canadian home listings from 1997 to 2000. It appears words could determine the speed at which a house sells.

Some interesting findings from this study include tidbits such as ads that described Sellers as "motivated" remained on the market 15% longer than average, yet homes described as "handyman special" flew off the market in half the average time. Homes described as "beautiful" moved 15 percent faster and for 5 percent more in price than average. "Good-value" homes sold for 5 percent less than average.

Interestingly, the words "must see" had absolutely no effect on the number of days on market while "landscaping" sold 20% faster. Of course, landscaping may have a negative effect to attract Buyers in a resort community for second homes, so HAH Buyers are often tempted with more area specific terms such as "flat drive", "drive to door" or "walk out to water". And finally, although no affect on purchase price, "move-in condition" equated to a 12% less marketing time.

For more information on other key ad words in this study along with conclusions of various other studies, see
Seattle Times

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