The Words You Should Never Use When Selling a Home

Words Not To Say Selling Your Home

Words To Avoid When Selling A Home

When selling your home, you need to think a bit beyond staging, photography and other marketing ideas – and focus on the actual words used.

Choosing the right words goes a long way to determine your success.

With the right words at hand, you may compose a highly effective advertisement, which will distinguish your listing from other ads.

It’s a well known saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. But that doesn’t mean that the words aren’t important.

Some lines of text, accompanied with great images, can really work to sell a home.

How Not To Describe Your Home

At first, start by brainstorming.

Make a detailed list of all the adjectives, every noun that comes to your mind.

Don’t mind the order; let your imagination flow.

But, watch out for any negative words. Cross off any words which may seem potentially negative. For instance, you may have said:

‘Lower Level’ vs ‘Basement’

You need to think about the neighbourhood, potential buyers and how it sounds. Sometimes a “lower-level apartment” has a nicer ring to it than a “basement apartment”. But a “large, cosy basement” can sound better than a “large, cosy lower-level”.

So think about how it is used and what sounds better.


Using the word “cramped” on your ad only communicates to the reader that they should be prepared to spend boatloads of cash renovating the home.

Never use ‘cramped’ but ‘comfortable’ is a better alternative.

‘Fresh paint’ or ‘freshly painted’

Paint you home – sure.

But don’t advertise that you’ve just done this – using the words “fresh paint” in your listing can be a sign that the buyers should be suspicious and worry about the real reason for painting the home.

Or that the home they’re going to buy is going to smell of paint fumes. ‘Fresh paint’ doesn’t have a very positive connotation.

‘Near public transport’

While leaving near the train and bus lines might be important to some buyers, others picture the endless noise and exhaust fumes.

So, you have to be a little bit careful when describing this.

Try “public transportation available” or “plenty of public transport options within walking distance” for better results.


Again, you have to be careful using this as it could come across to some buyers that your home isn’t liveable.

In other words, some buyers hear ‘vintage’ and they think ‘outdated’ – with images of 10-year-old rehabs, which lack on-trend finishes.


For example, you might be tempted to say an ‘over-sized lot’ or ‘over-sized garage’.

Over-sized is actually a negative word – implying that something is wrong – ‘it’s too big’. You want to use ‘large’ or ‘luxurious’ or more positive words to describe.

‘Small’ or ‘tiny’

A clear word that is a better alternative to these is ‘cosy’.

Unless there’s a market out there for doll-sized homes, try not to use these words.

‘Upside potential’ or ‘potential’

The problem with these phrases is that they suggest something is wrong. If something has the potential to be good – it means it currently isn’t good!

Most buyers don’t want to buy potential.

However, if your home is a complete and total fixer upper then using these words might be more reasonable.


Phrases like ‘buyers to verify permits’ or asking buyers to verify anything in your listing immediately makes them suspicious and that you’re trying to hide something.

Instead, use phrases like ‘permits available’ rather than specifically pointing out that buyers should verify them.

Use Your Words To Make Buyers Curious

As you can see, there are several phrases which can give the buyer too much information about you than desired.

And guess what?

Most of them can hurt your home sale.

When it comes to describing your home, try to use words and phrases that make buyers more curious – this is marketing 101.

You want to peak the interest of buyers and make sure not to put them off viewing your home – which is usually the next step you’re trying to get them to take with your listing description.

Words And Phrases That Help Sell Your Home

Here are words you can use to replace the crossed-out ones. They include:

Backyard paradise

Some buyers, especially those with kids, and pets, look for a big and welcoming backyard.

Paradise invokes very positive emotions in buyers and is a great way to describe your backyard in a very positive manner.


Everyone wants a beautiful home.

Besides, the word “beautiful” is powerful, regardless of where or how it’s used.

Open floor plan

Having a great floor plan is welcoming to most home-buyers because of the excellent opportunity to maximize space.

The word ‘open’ is also a great word as it implies that you’ve got nothing to hide.


Use this word to communicate that the house is large enough for any needs.

You can also use it to draw attention to rooms and areas that are larger than normal in your home – so that buyers will look for them. For example, ‘spacious kitchen cabinet space’ or ‘spacious storage space in the bedrooms’.


Let the buyer know that the master bedroom has its bath and other desirable features.

You can also draw attention to in-suites.


Let the buyer know that the property is ready to move in, any time.

Of course, if your home is more of a fixer-upper then don’t use this phrase!

In Conclusion – Words And Phrases To Help Sell Your Home

These are the wrong and correct words to use.

The next time you put your home up for sale, think about the words that you are using.

And just because they are in a lot of other listings doesn’t mean they are good words to use – remember there are a lot of bad Agents out there and people trying to do this themselves.

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