“For 43 percent of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties and 12 percent of home buyers first looked online for information about the home buying process.” -From the 2014 Realtor.org Study on Home Buying, Realtor.org Study
Today, when so many buyers go online and view homes before making a decision to see one, I can’t understand why some agents still think it is ok to take their own pictures with a camera phone and put those on the internet. You only get one chance to showcase a home with potential buyers (e.g. their search agent shows your home to them when it goes online). To not properly showcase a home is one way that agents do their clients an injustice.
What got me thinking about this topic was a post I read on a Facebook group from a homeowner whose house had been on the market for over thirty days and they were “distressed” that the house hadn’t sold. I found the house in the local listing service, and found several things that immediately made me think why the home wasn’t moving:
1. PHOTOS- As I stated above, the pictures in the home were somewhat dark and I am sure that it dissuaded several buyers from investigating further. A good photographer knows how to contrast a picture and shoot it in a favorable way to make the subject look amazing.
2. STAGING- The home appeared very “nice”, but also very specific to the tastes of that homeowner. There were many “country” decorations, which while attractive to some buyers, may have prevented others from looking further. Creating a neutral impression is a necessity in marketing a home, and especially today with the diverse tastes of many buyers. While the old adage “You can’t be everything to everyone” is a good idea when selling other products, in real estate, you need to try and in this case, using a staging professional would have brought these issues out before the home hit the market.
3. OPEN HOUSES- Agents disagree on whether open houses sell a home or act as a marketing tool for the agent to get other clients, but they ARE part of the equation, and I am firmly in the camp of using them. A well promoted open house (Facebook, Twitter, Local Dedicated Page, etc) is key to getting visibility for the home, even if the potential buyers don’t visit that day. In this case, the homeowner said that they did an open house, but I couldn’t find any indication of it, so I’m guessing that the marketing was not done correctly.
There were other issues with the listing, but I am going to stop highlighting them, because if the top three had been addressed, I am confident that the house would be under contract by now.
Properly marketing a home for sale is “an art not a science”, and requires an agent who is experienced and has a large team behind them (like Keller Williams) to constantly adapt their strategy to the market conditions. If you are thinking about selling your home, I would love the chance to interview for the job and I welcome your inquiry.