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Real-Estate Listing Words: The Good, Bad, and Hyperlocal

A “magnificent estate” is worth almost 60 “cute little bungalows.” And if you want “mirrored closet doors,” you’ll find them in southern California.

Jed Kolko, Chief Economist
February 28, 2013

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what’s a word worth? Today, we’re excited to launch Trulia’s Real Estate Lab, which reveals the psychology and strategy of how consumers and professionals approach real estate. In our first Real Estate Lab report, we combed through millions of property listings on for-sale homes to find the words and phrases in the most expensive and least expensive listings, as well as quirky hyperlocal phrases.

How Much Do “Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity” Homes Cost?
Even before you look at their multimillion-dollar price tags, luxury listings are easy to spot.  Below, we’ve identified the 10 phrases associated with the most expensive listings. Some of these phrases are specific home features, such as “paneled library” or “public rooms,” and some are marketing terms, like “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Phrases in the Most Expensive Listings

# Phrase Avg price of listings containing phrase
1 parlor floor $4,935,632
2 formal gardens $4,006,401
3 paneled library $3,740,836
4 magnificent estate $3,646,040
5 Lutron lighting $3,524,588
6 public rooms $3,451,456
7 once-in-a-lifetime opportunity $3,402,801
8 highest level $3,388,751
9 motor court $3,359,954
10 two powder rooms $3,346,560
Phrases appearing in listings with the highest average asking price. Among phrases appearing in at least 100 listings.

At the top of the list, the phrase associated with the most expensive listings is “parlor floor,” which is the main and grandest floor of Manhattan townhouses and other big city mansions. On average, homes calling out this feature are priced at nearly $5 million. The second phrase on this list is “formal gardens”, which appears in listings priced at $4 million, on average. This home feature is one you’d find in more secluded properties, along with a “motor court” – because if you have a multi-million dollar estate, you’ll need someplace for all those fancy cars.

In addition to mentioning specific home features, luxury listings often call out particular brands. For example, Lutron – a lighting brand – shows up in some of the priciest listings; appliance brands like Miele, Viking, and Sub-Zero get lots of mentions in million-dollar-plus homes, too.

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