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“…genuine fur floors…”
“Needs some updates to it’s electricity”
“Their is fruit trees in the backyard.”

If you recognize any of these errors, chances are you’ve been perusing real estate listings or websites. There are many common mistakes that Realtors® make with those slippery English words. (Well, the first one isn’t that common, but it is funny.)

Its/It’s
Unlike most words in the English language, “its” does not refer to a plural; it refers to the possessive:
“Its black mold and its hideous plaid wallpaper do nothing to justify its outrageous price”.

“It’s” is a contraction of “it is”:
“It’s a dump!”
“It’s pretty rundown, but think of the equity you’ll build after fixing it up!”
“It’s totally not worth it.”

There/They’re/Their
There: Meaning “in that place indicated”.
They’re: Contraction of “they are”.
Their: Possessive of “they”.
“They’re buying their house today.”
“Where?”
“There.”
“I can’t see them.”
“Do you need corrective lenses? They’re right there! There, with their house!”
“Oh, there they are.”

You’re/Your
You’re: Contraction of “you are”.
Your: Possessive of “you”.
“You’re doing a lot on your house these days, aren’t you?”
“Yup. Gotta fill in that crater your dog dug yesterday in my yard. You’re going to keep him in your yard, aren’t you?”
“Of course! You’re such a good neighbor that we wouldn’t dream of letting Flopsy run in your garden again.”
“Great, then I guess you won’t mind cleaning up that pile of poop your dog left behind.”

Apostrophes
Apostrophes are never to be used for plurals except in very rare cases, like the above “its/it’s”.
“The house’s are going to be put in the listing’s today, isn’t that great?” WRONG, EVIL and BAD.
“The condos here in Tall Towers are exceptional among the homes being sold today.” RIGHT, PURE and GOOD.

Are to be used for possessives:
“The house’s windows are totally cracked. It’s going to take a lot of John’s savings to replace them.”
“What was John thinking, throwing seven zucchinis randomly around the streets? This was bound to happen eventually. His fruit juggling habits are what got him into this mess.”

Capitalizations
Are to be used for titles, and proper names. Real Estate is not a proper name; do not capitalize it unless you’ve legally changed yours to those particular words (although “Real Estate, your Anytown Realtor®” is a little much). It makes you, as the writer, look ignorant and like you’re trying too hard to get noticed.

Exclamation Marks
This! Looks! Stupid! I’m! Serious!!!
Too many exclamation marks make the reader turn off and stop responding to them. You can’t force enthusiasm with rampant punctuation; you must have actual compelling content.

When you are in doubt, consult a spell/grammar checker or a friend who is English-savvy. There’s nothing wrong with you not being at your best when it comes to stringing together sentences for listings or area pages, but if you post malformed English on your listings or website, it makes you look less professional. Take the extra time and/or money and make sure those words are in their proper places.

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