Spelling, Abbreviations, and Punctuation in MLS Listings

Well here’s something fun for all of us: spelling! Being an agent is all about presentation and proving that you are the best for the job.  Part of doing both of these things well involves communicating professionally and copy writing. So, what we decided to do was to analyze how well agents do this in their first, most direct form of marketing – MLS listing descriptions. To do this, we took the first 280 listings from Leap Day and scanned them with our German-schoolteacher-with-ruler-in-hand brand of expectation for precision.

Our grading criteria included spelling errors, gratuitous abbreviations when space was not limited and tacky punctuation. Now, before anyone gets all wound up, we are aware of the character limit, so many abbreviations were permitted. Grammar and punctuation usage were mostly overlooked to save time. Of the 280 entries, 53 did not pass our test. That’s an F for nearly 20% of the listings.

We counted the following infractions:

Excessive abbreviation with extra characters available


Spelling errors


Tacky punctuation


Just a friendly reminder to the agent community to double-check work and maybe use a spell-checker when preparing marketing materials for listings.

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