Terms to Kill Your Home Sale

Terms to Kill Your Home Sale

The language you use in your house listing can really have an effect on whether it sells quickly or not.  Your choice of words could even prevent you from selling your house!  You’ve got to know that in today’s market, buyers are looking at more and more houses, simply because they can.  So, if you want to move your house quickly, avoid the terms we’re about to share.

Needs TLC


No one wants a house that needs “tender loving care.”  Extra work means extra money.  If you want to move out of the house fast (with a buyer moving in), avoid anything with TLC as well as fixer-upper, sweat equity, or any reference to tools.

Cute and Cozy

To the average buyer, “cute and cozy” means small.  Don’t describe the size of the house or the lot; just include the square footage.  If there’s room on the lot, it’s OK to add something like “room to expand.”

Recently Painted

Giving the exterior or interior a paint job is almost a given when a house goes on the market, so don’t bother mentioning it.  You’d want to add the bigger improvements like – new deck, new landscaping, or new pool – something that makes people want to move in.


Short Sale

Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that short sales really take forever and the banks are rough to deal with.  Don’t advertise this fact in your listing, the buyer will find out right away, anyway.

Motivated or Anxious Seller

All sellers are anxious and motivated.  But, putting this in your listing will be redundant and may even force you to get only low-ball offers for the house.  If you want to move out and get close to your asking price, avoid this.


The Right Price

You might think the price of your home is wonderful – buyers may not.  If you want to see any and all offers just to move the house off the market, put something like “owner will see all offers” in the listing rather than “priced right.”

Won’t Last

People on the hunt for houses don’t necessarily believe in fairy tales anymore, so don’t give them one in your listing.  Today’s economy is not ideal for selling a house or moving into a new one, so don’t put anything about how quickly the house will sell in your listing.  Be realistic.


Den or Extra Bedroom

If you’ve got a den but no closet in that room, it cannot be an extra bedroom.  Bedrooms are rooms with closets and doors.  Don’t promise something in your listing that you just can’t deliver.

Unpermitted Addition or Porch

It is never a good idea to have an unpermitted addition or porch attached to your house.  Without a permit, the state inspector can come and require you to demolish that portion of your home.  If you do have a permit, include that in the listing.  If you don’t, we suggest you get one.

Jon Huser