Are You Guilty of Unnecessary Capitalization?

For some reason, we have noticed that real estate agents love to capitalize words that shouldn’t be capitalized. Here’s a great example of the kind of incorrect capitalization we commonly see in listing remarks:

“This Stunning, Elegant home is move-in ready! Check Out This Home Today!” 

Even if you mean to emphasize how truly “stunning” and “elegant” a home is, capitalizing those adjectives is cumbersome and just plain incorrect. And unless you’re quoting a title, one uppercase letter is all you need: “Check out this home today!” 

So when do you capitalize a word?!

To make it as simple as possible:

Only capitalize a word if it is a proper noun (i.e. the name of a person, place, organization, business, creative works, holidays, religious terms, titles when attached to a name, languages, brands) or a proper adjective (i.e. an adjective derived from a proper noun). 

Examples of correct proper noun use:

  • “You should call Real Estate Agent Jane Doe.” 
  • “She lives in Seattle.”
  • “I belong to the National Association of Realtors®.”
  • “My favorite newspaper is The New York Times.”
  • “I can’t wait for Christmas!”
  • “We speak Spanish.”

Examples of correct proper adjective use:

  • “Built in the Victorian era, this home…” (“Victorian” is derived from the proper noun “Victoria.”)
  • “Beautiful French-inspired interiors…” (“French” is derived from the proper noun “France.”) 
  • “This Renaissance-style dining room….” (“Renaissance” is derived from the proper noun “Renaissance.”) 

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