Carol Staab
Associate Broker
Douglas Elliman
111 Fifth Avenue
New York , NY 10003

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How To Interpret Online Real Estate Listings – Pay Attention To The Wording. Especially What Is Left Out!

Real Estate ListingsIn the online real estate listing description brokers and their buyers can expect to see a lot of superlatives being used. Not every home is the best and most beautiful and has top-of-the line appliances, top quality finishes and gorgeous views.

Buried in the description is a lot of info that can give you clues about what to expect from a property besides the size and number of bedrooms and bathrooms that could save you time and be helpful in negotiations.

While photos and property videos are the most important aspect of a listing the “description” is very important as well. Buyers want to read a compelling story that tells them about the home.

To accomplish this, I include in my property descriptions all the essential information. Top quality photos are taken of every room including the lobby of the building Also I highlight all the features of the home and important information about the building. I have a creative video that shows the details of all the rooms, the layout and a feeling of what it is like to actually live in the home. I also have companion neighborhood video that show the amenities and lifestyle of the area. My goal with the description and price is to make it clear why the property is worth the price.

What’s left out of the description is as important as what is in the description.

For example, if someone is looking at a listing and it doesn’t say “views” and that is what they are looking for then just cross it off the list. In Manhattan views of anything from Central Park, The Hudson River, East River, important buildings should be the first thing you see on the listing.

Just like views features such as outdoor space, wine cellars, gyms, movie theatres, play rooms, resident lounges etc. will be mentioned in the listing.

Look out for words like cozy translates to small. Needing TLC or charming could mean a gut job.

Prewar in Manhattan describes buildings built before World War 11. This implies buildings that have high ceilings and generous layouts. However, keep in mind a lot of them may need renovation. If a building doesn’t say contemporary or new than the building is probably built in the 1960’s and 1970’s and has low ceilings.

Another thing to be aware of comments like “huge price reduction” or “bring all offers” can imply that the sellers are a bit desperate. It could turn out to be a good buy depending on why the seller has reduced the price. It could be a divorce situation, money issues or relocation. If the seller is just trying to unload an undesirable home than it is no bargain!

International buyers are more concerned about the lifestyle amenities than the apartment itself. Local buyers are more concerned with layouts and the building.

Whether the buyer is local or international the most important objective is for the photos, videos and description to make buyers want to make an appointment to view the property.

That said, you can save yourself a lot of time by hiring a very experienced broker who will be able to save you time by previewing property for you and then scheduling showings for the ones that most suit your needs and lifestyle.