Clicks and Mortar

A Real Estate Blog - Est. 2009

Atlanta Real Estate's Top 20 Most Used Words

Posted on 01, June 2009 by csadmin

While we were integrating all the Atlanta listing data into Clickscape, we ran a report to see what listing description words were used with the most frequency. We were curious to see how much of Steven Levitt's Freakonomicsapplied to Atlanta real estate. It was fascinating to see what words were most common and what words that were the most surprising.

Top 20 Words

Here are the top 20 descriptive words used in Atlanta real estate listings:

  1. new (25,080)
  2. great (24,837)
  3. large (18,132)
  4. granite (12,197)
  5. open (12,119)
  6. private (11,704)
  7. huge (11,137)
  8. beautiful (9,732)
  9. spacious (8,663)
  10. brick (8,551)
  11. finished (7,424)
  12. fenced (7,350)
  13. custom (6,339)
  14. (move-in) ready (4,595)
  15. gorgeous (4,280)
  16. vaulted (4,170)
  17. very (4,144)
  18. perfect (3,873)
  19. gourmet (3,652)
  20. wooded (3,634)

There are not many surprises in the top 20 descriptive words in Atlanta real estate listings. Though while I was expecting the top 5 to be littered with useless adjectives like fabulous, fantastic, and awesome, I was surprised with the relative depth of the descriptive words (at least in the top 20). 

The most popular word "new" is very common because of phrases like new construction, new countertops, new roof, new kitchen, new paint, and new carpet. Additionally, granite, open, private, brick, finished, fenced, custom, (move-in) ready, vaulted, gourmet, and wooded are all compelling descriptive words that add value to the description and give a buyer a better impression of the property and whether the Atlanta home would be a good fit for their lifestyle.

Contrastingly, real estate agents are also notorious for using flowery language and superfluous superlatives that don't resonate with buyers because they are often meaningless and empty. In the top 20 words we see this in several cases: great (excluding the 3,061 instances where it was used in the phrase "great room"), huge, beautiful, gorgeous, very, and perfect. How the 3,800 homes that are "perfect" remain on the Atlanta real estate market is a mystery to me. If they were in fact "perfect", I have to assume they would have been snatched up by now. If "perfect" was used correctly instead of ostentatiously, there would never be more than a few "perfect" homes on the market at a time, right? They would always be the first ones to be sold.

Finally "spacious" is the #9 most popular word in Atlanta listings and is seen by many as vague. It is used incessantly in the many situations where a real estate agent wants to convey ample space, but doesn't have any features or benefits to adequately describe it. According to Freakonomics, "spacious"  has a correlation to a lower sales price and "'spacious' homes...are often decrepit or impractical".

Top Home Listing Description Surprises

Words in Atlanta real estate listings we found surprising:

  1. chair (1,111)
  2. french (1,082)
  3. galore (873)
  4. super (810)
  5. spectacular (805)
  6. hurry (782)
  7. mall (782)
  8. MARTA (759)
  9. shutters (755)
  10. village (651)
  11. exquisite (639)
  12. soaring (611)
  13. unbelievable (584)

"Chair" was used over 1,100 times presumably in instances referring to "gorgeous and awesome" chair rail moulding. while 750 real estate listings referred to MARTA---probably because it is just "smarta".

I can't imagine many instances where the shutters would be important enough to have in the listing descriptions over 750 times. Really? There's nothing else about the house to feature? Unless those shutters are made out of pretzels (ummm, delicious!) or are bulletproof (sweet), then most people don't get excited about shutters. What's that you say? 123 Main Street has "shutters"? Get the car, Gertrude, we are going house hunting today!

Here's another little known fact---there are 805 "spectacular" homes in Atlanta. I had no idea! It's probably the same homes that have "soaring" ceilings and "unbelievable" hardwoods. Also, what's up with "village"? Does anyone in the Atlanta-area still live in a village? Did the blacksmith put his home up for sale? I'll have to check with the town crier.

And just as the 782 instances in our Atlanta listings, I will "hurry" up and conclude this "super, unbelievable" post.

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