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Sell Your Home Faster Using Keywords

Using these search terms could result in twice as many inquiries

Selling your home? Then you’re probably scouring the internet looking for tips on how to attract buyers to your home. The good news is there’s plenty of fodder out there to get your creative selling juices flowing. The Canadian Real Estate Association also offers some sage advice: use keywords.

In the recent release of their annual Insights Report, CREA offers a breakdown of keywords that buyers use when searching for a home to buy.

Broken down by search term and city, these top five keyword search lists are a great way to get your listings at the top of a prospective buyer’s want list. (For a glimpse into search terms used in the U.S. market, see’s 2013 survey.)

Hot search terms in Calgary, Alta.

For instance, if you were selling a home in Calgary, your listing would get top-billing if you added in the words: “walkout basement” or “suite” to the listing description. Buyers in Calgary were also interested in listings that included the keywords: suite or in-law suite as well as bungalow.

Hot search terms in Charlottetown, PEI

The list was fairly similar for Edmonton buyers, but changed quite dramatically for Charlottetown, PEI buyers. While “in-law suite” continued to be popular, the remaining top four keywords for these east-coast home buyers were: income suite, waterfront, duplex and apartment.

Hot search terms in Toronto

The No. 1 keyword buyers used when searching Toronto listings was “parking” followed by “finished basement” and “in-law suite.” Surprisingly “loft” and “bungalow” were also popular search terms used by buyers in the Toronto market.

Hot search terms in Vancouver

In Vancouver and the lower mainland, buyers searched five keywords that never even touched on finished basements or parking. Instead, Vancouver buyers searched for: “suite” as well as “in-law suite” along with “den,” “pet-friendly,” and “insuite laundry.”

The “pet friendly” search term was also popular in Victoria, B.C. as well as in Regina, Sask., and Winnipeg, Man.


(Source: Google Analytics / CREA’s 2016 Insights Report)

How to market your home

Almost a quarter of searches included a keyword or geographical search in 2015, and the inclusion of these keywords resulted in twice as many inquiries. This is important for homeowners selling in today’s market, as CREA’s Insight Report provides great clues on how to market their home.

By including one or more of the top search terms in your listing, you get a more engaged, more interested buyer. This is important if you want to drive interest to your listing.

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If you’re selling your home yourself, be sure to include these keywords, but only if they apply to the home you’re selling. For example, if you added “on street parking” to you’re Toronto listing, you may get more buyers viewing your listing. Just keep in mind, that if a buyer is searching for homes using the term “parking” they’re probably looking for more that street-parking.

If you’re working with a realtor, discuss how your home will be described on the Multiple Listing Service (the service that supplies and updates all current listings available in Canada). Make sure you ask to see the full description that will be used to market your home and be pro-active about what keywords you want included in this description.

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