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On Being Descriptive

August 23rd, 2012

Mr Chiots and I always have a great time laughing at real estate listings. When we were looking, we’d read through the description and look at the photos and joke about what was the real meaning behind words like “rustic”, “quaint”, “needs love”, etc.

Hopefully, there won’t be too much of that in the listing for this place when it finally goes on-line, I may write the description myself with the help of a friend. I’ll definitely be writing the garden portion. Unfortunately, our real estate agent is not the least bit interested in gardening and it shows. That’s kind of sad, because the outdoor area of the home is almost as important as the inside and, as a gardener, something I found very lacking when were looking at houses.

Yesterday, I spent some time taking photos of the house and collecting all the garden photos I wanted to share. After showing them to a friend I have a few new ones to take today to round out the collection.

Trying to figure out how to describe the house/gardens without being too wordy can be a challenge. The photos will speak better than the words anyways, so I’ll focus more time on those. I’ll be writing the full description today to give to the real estate agent this afternoon along with all the photos.

It’s really hard to describe your house and gardens in just a few sentences since it’s so much more than just a house, it’s a home. I guess the people who will buy this place will make it their own, so to them it is just a house.

If you had to describe your garden for the real estate listing what would you say? Any great suggestions for things you like to read in real estate listing?

20 Comments to “On Being Descriptive”
  1. jennifer fisk on August 23, 2012 at 6:01 am

    I would describe my garden as 25×50 organic vegetable garden with established rhubarb plants and dedicated garlic area. Every fall this garden gets a load of seaweed and all winter my rabbit cage trays are dumped in it.
    I often peruse real estate ads and the first things I look for are number of acres, size and age of house and outbuildings. A solid barn would be a big selling point.

    Reply to jennifer fisk's comment

  2. Adelina Anderson on August 23, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Pictures say a thousand words. You gardens are beautiful – maybe say it is a colorful oasis. A gardeners dream with room to expand (because all gardeners like to expand). But also perfect for the novice.

    I could only wish the outside of my home looked as beautiful as yours. Maybe one day.

    Reply to Adelina Anderson's comment

  3. songbirdtiff on August 23, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Your house looks beautiful! So open and clean.

    Reply to songbirdtiff's comment

  4. Terry on August 23, 2012 at 7:42 am

    We just went through all of that! We are in the middle of moving and have to be out by the first. I can’t wait until all of this is over, fixing up and selling a house is stressful!

    Reply to Terry's comment

  5. Allison on August 23, 2012 at 8:07 am

    We definitely bought our house partially because they mentioned the peach trees, blueberry bushes, and wild raspberries. Of course, they didn’t take care of them, but it did influence our decision. Mention that the garden is “well maintained.”

    Reply to Allison's comment

  6. daisy on August 23, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Your home is gorgeous, inside and out. Any realtor would be blessed to be showing it. What an easy sell. You’ve done wonders.

    Reply to daisy's comment

  7. Lynda on August 23, 2012 at 9:16 am

    If your real estate agent is NOT showing an interest in a primary feature of your home…a potential selling point…find yourself another agent. I know of what I speak…I’m a real estate broker and it is soooo important for you and your agent to be on the same page.

    Reply to Lynda's comment

  8. Louise on August 23, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I so agree with Lynda.

    For the sale of our last home we too took our own photos, wrote our own wording and designed our own flyers. The house sold in 3 days. No one knows a house as well as its’ owner, especially if it is well maintained.

    If you have the talent to help with the marketing I would highly recommend it. So, if you have time take the flyer to everyone you know; word of mouth is the best form of advertisement.

    Best wishes for your move and happy tidings at your new place in Maine!

    Reply to Louise's comment

  9. Mich on August 23, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I guess a short description would be ‘ a south facing garden with cottage garden style border; as well as a productive fruit & vegetable garden run organically, with the bonus of a panoramic view’. I wont mention the deer & pheasants who do their best to eat said garden! lol.
    I hate the saying ‘house with a good sized plot’!

    Reply to Mich's comment

  10. Donna B. on August 23, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Your realtor is an idiot.
    But yes, I agree – pictures speak words beyond the use of “Quaint rustic Ranch Situated in a Woody Lot” that realtors use.
    Like I said before, I’d buy your home in a heartbeat. Well, if it were in my price range… [New Jersey’s housing market is pretty bad, I’d never be able to sell my home] But my boyfriend’s job may turn into a possible from-home job… maybe it’s a sign? Haha! ♥

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

  11. Maybelline on August 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I love reading real estate listings but find photographs are much better. Words are not to be trusted.

    What size blades are on that bedroom fan? They look incredibly small.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

    • Susy on August 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      They’re 12″ blades I think, it’s a small fan, which we like because it isn’t as foreboding in the room as the original large one was.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. Carrie on August 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I’m so glad you understand the importance of photos and GOOD photos in a real estate listing! We are searching for a place and doing most of our looking online and some of the listings are pathetic. Either there are only pictures of the outside or the ones of the inside are cluttered up with the current owner’s crap all over the place. Do realtors not tell their clients that by cleaning up before taking pictures will help sell the house?!

    Reply to Carrie's comment

  13. KimH on August 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I would say mine was a semi-wild cottage garden with a hidden meditation patio off the back deck.

    Good luck figuring out whats just right for you!

    Reply to KimH's comment

  14. Marie on August 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    I have thought I would market our home as a “almost completed Victorian Home”. I would describe the yard as a mini-farm mentioning all the herbs, perennials and fruit trees that are on the property.

    Reply to Marie's comment

  15. Jeannie on August 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Beautiful home, but 2 tips. I would be sure to have every light on in the house when taking interior photos – makes things look brighter (obviously), but also more inviting and even larger. Also, the realtors hesitation on focusing on the gardens in because only certain buyers will be interested. Many want low-maintenance grounds, which a garden is not. I’d pick your favorite few, with the most color and beauty and leave it at that. Just some tips and good luck!

    Reply to Jeannie's comment

  16. Sheila on August 24, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    “Mature landscaping” is a popular phrase for flyers. Say it’s a paradise for gardeners or nature lovers. You don’t want it to scare off anyone who can’t garden — even if they can’t, they will be able to enjoy the flowers popping up everywhere all spring and summer.

    Reply to Sheila's comment

  17. Chris on August 24, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Your house is lovely and obviously well maintained and updated but I also agree that you should have more lighting in the photos, especially in the first one and a beautiful bouquet of flowers from your garden on the dining table would be the icing on the cake!! :)
    Bring that garden indoors!!

    Reply to Chris's comment

  18. Bethany on September 1, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Your realtor might not be into the garden because to some people a well landscaped garden means work. My parents had *beautiful* edible landscaping, but when we drive by the old house now it has gone to ruins. Perhaps you should say something about it being mature and needing minimal maintenance? Some people like the idea of a garden, but are afraid of what it would look like if they took it over. Another thing you could do is get a quote for a landscape company to see what it would take to professionally maintain the yard, in case someone who is interested is on the fence about being able to maintain it all.

    Reply to Bethany's comment

  19. Josie on September 2, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    I can only tell you that I am so happy for your upcomming move and having just bought our first home last year, I would have LOVED it if there would have been some indication that a property had any garden or the potentials of the land…and not just the house itself. I am sure that (or at least I truly hope) that a gardener is going to find your property and thank their lucky stars that such a well cared for piece of land has fallen in their hands.

    Reply to Josie's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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