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"If you catch an adjective, kill it."

"When you catch an adjective, kill it."

That's a quote from one of the master writers of our time – Mark Twain.

dog catching a ball

Of course, that isn't the entire quote. The rest of it is: "No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them—then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are far apart."

Think about that when you're writing property descriptions. One adjective tied to a well-chosen noun will make an impression. A whole string of them will lose the reader. So will an adjective tied to every noun. It becomes a bit like wading through mud when you see something like:

"Enter this fantastic home through elegant 8' cherrywood entry doors, leading to a huge marble-tiled, two-story foyer enhanced by a glowing crystal chandelier."

They got it all in, but whew! Tough reading!

Something else to remember – if you're going to use an adjective, make it specific. Get rid of vague words like fantastic, good, great, large, spacious, pretty, beautiful, nice, etc. Those words could mean something different to every person who reads them. Instead, use words that paint an accurate word picture.

Instead of large, or small, or spacious tell the square footage.  Or say something descriptive – such as "There's even room for a grand piano."

Instead of a great view or a pretty view, say it has a "panoramic views of the valley." Or "Enjoy ever-changing views of the river from your kitchen window."

Instead of a good fence around the back yard, describe it. Is it a privacy fence? Is it a chain link fence to keep the dogs in? Or is it merely decorative, as in a split rail fence?


I will never forget a woman who, upon hearing that a property had beautiful trees, said "The only beautiful tree is a dead one."  Her agent found her a home on property that was mostly meadow – then she had the orchard and the remaining pines turned into firewood. 

Her agent's idea of beautiful and hers were definitely not the same. 

I know... with MLS you have very little space.So choose the most important benefits or features. If possible, add a "read more" link so you can give more details in carefully constructed sentences.


Priest River, Idaho


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