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Defy Not The Grammar: Common Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make

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By : Leslie Eskildsen    99 or more times read
There are many acts offensive to English grammar, but there are several that seem particularly prevalent in real estate listings and on pages. The following is by no means the definitive list of the most common sins, but it does enumerate those which I have most often seen in my online travels.

Random Plurals:

Most English possessives require the apostrophe: “The agent’s listing is terrible.” “The house’s sagging roof can hopefully be overlooked with some extra adjectives in the listing.” At no time does a plural require an apostrophe. “The houses are empty.” “The agents are restless.” Every time you misuse an apostrophe, Fate kills a baby ferret.


The rule about possessives in English does not hold for “it”. 

“Its” is the possessive: “The house I’m trying to sell has a dead body in its basement.” 

“It’s” is a contraction for “it is”: This house? It’s pretty nice, but I much prefer the haunted mansion over the way.”


“They’re” is a contraction for “they are”. “They’re a fine bunch of agents, aren’t they?”

“Their” is the possessive case of multiple nouns: “Their house will never sell for that amount.”

“There” refers to a location. “I would have to sell my Star Wars collection to afford the house over there.”

And all together now: “They’re looking at that house over there with their agent.” 


“Your” refers that which belongs to someone: “Your listing”, “Your horrible grammar”.

“You’re” is a contraction of “you are”: “You’re showing how many houses today?”

Avoid dangling modifiers: “Covered in vermin-infested rats, home buyers stayed away from the condemned property.” Of course, the home buyers could be covered with vermin-infested rats, but it’s not as likely as rats overrunning a house destined for the wrecking ball.

Don’t Capitalize Everything! Capitals Don’t Make Your Listing Look More Exciting! The Same Goes For Exclamation Marks!!!!! They Aren’t The Magic Lead Magnets Or The Client Quicker-Picker-Upper!!!!! They Make Your Listing Look Like A Cheap Money Grab!

The same goes for no capitals. It becomes hard to tell where one sentence ends and another begins, especially if your usage of punctuation becomes nonexistent or sloppy punctuation that is sloppy or absent makes listings and pages hard to read in the extreme because the eye has a hard time following sentences without clear starting and stopping points. At this point let me also mention the advisability of paragraphs, paragraphs are important because they break up the text into easily readable sections which allows the viewer to assimilate and digest information much faster. Without these important aspects of grammar your listing or property web page will not gather as many views and interest as it could.

A healthy respect for grammar can greatly improve the appearance and usability of your listings and web pages. If your strengths do not lie with Merriam-Webster, consider a good spell check and grammar check system. However, do not rely on this to the exclusion of all else. You should read things through before posting them. Or, get someone whose strengths do lie with the English lexicon. 

Being aware and concerned about how your words conduct themselves definitely makes a difference. Proper grammar is something that subtly tells your prospective clients that you are professional and pay attention to detail. It makes your pages look good and you look good.
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