An analysis of close to 1.6 million real estate listings shows that homes with ‘seductive’ and ‘sexy’ in their property descriptions cost much more than those with ‘love’ in their descriptions, reported The Wall Street Journal.
“Love is basic,” said Realtor.com Economic Researcher Javier Vivas. “It’s a pre-canned pitch to generically describe something beautiful.”
Looking at homes for sale as at 1 February 2016, Realtor.com searched for terms of endearment used by property agents to list the properties. It then calculated the median asking price of homes that were described using sentimental words. Homes listed with the word ‘sexy’ had a median asking price of US$620,000 (S$872,177), those described as ‘seductive’ had a median price of US$640,000 (S$900,206), while those with the word ‘romance’ had a median price of US$820,000 (S$1.15 million).
“When you talk about extreme wealth, you’ll see terms like ‘sexy’ bandied about,” regardless of the product, noted Adam Alter, an Associate Professor of Marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business. And with luxury products striving for uniqueness, it makes sense that salespeople employ impassioned language in order to set their brand apart, he said.
Meanwhile, love and its variations were used in one out of 10 listings, with the words most commonly used for low-priced homes.
In fact, homes with ‘love’ and ‘lovely’ had a median asking price of US$250,000 (S$351,626) and US$264,000 (S$90,020) respectively. Homes with ‘loving’ descriptions were listed for US$195,000 (S$274,279).
A waterfront home in North Bethany, Delaware, that was described as ‘a modern romance’ with ‘luscious views and seductive spaces’ was listed for US$2.5 million (S$3.5 million).
“The type of verbiage definitely changes a little bit once you get to that price point,” explained marketing manager Chelsea Brown, with the Debbie Reed team at Re/Max Realty, which listed the home.
On the other hand, she noted that she would use words such as ‘love’ in the same category as ‘quaint’ and ‘charming’ – terms that are usually reserved for more modest homes.