I got a call last night from a family that has two houses they have been trying to sell for nearly 6 of the best months the market has offered a seller in years. What gives?
Real estate is all about price, location and condition. Real estate marketing is about price, online presentation and making the house look attractive to buyers when they come see it.
I am going over tonight to look at these houses, but based on the current listings…….I am embarrassed for my whole industry. I am always amazed that I am still always amazed at just how poorly some realtors do their jobs. In this case, the current agent didn’t even bother to enter the name of the neighborhood. She entered “Rural” as the neighborhood. People looking for rural properties won’t want this one and people who might want this house think it is out in the country somewhere. Boo 😦
The house is currently overpriced. Many agents are so eager to get a listing that they are afraid to tell the truth to the seller. That just ends up wasting a seller’s time. In this case, these poor sellers have had an overpriced house on the market for the best part of the year and didn’t know it.
I won’t even go into how bad the pictures are. Okay, I will. Some of the pictures are so blurry I thought maybe my contacts had fallen off my eyes. And about all of them are just a corner of the rooms. There is nothing there to work with for a buyer. WHY would they want to come see a house that the presentation offers nothing to make them want to see it?
My plan for this house is similar to what I do for all of my listings. I like to see the house and tell the seller what they need to do to sell. If a room feels small or inhibits buyers from experiencing the space, then some furniture should be taken out or rearranged. If there are heavy curtains that block a lot of natural light, they need to come down…..there are just a ton of little things that can be done to make the house more attractive to buyers. My favorite suggestion for a seller was putting mulch and a fire pit where their kids sandbox had been. We didn’t have time to grow grass, so I suggested they buy a fire pit, two plastic lawn chairs and about 4 bags of mulch. All in all, I think they told me it cost less than $100. We had multiple offers the first day on the market and the buyer who got it wrote in their contract that the fire pit/lawn chairs stayed with the house. Yeah, $100 turned an eyesore into a unique feature. I love doing stuff like that!!!!
Once ready, the professional photographer comes in. People are sitting at a computer deciding if they will come see your house or not. The presentation is what gets you showings. I don’t want to sell the house online, my goal is just to sell somebody on coming to see it. For a fishing analogy, it is the bait.
I try to use the marketing remarks I write to tell what is unique or above average about the house. If the buyers don’t think it has anything different to offer than what they have already seen, they are more likely to not schedule an appointment. There is always something unique about any house, even if it is rough or just like every other one in the neighborhood. If there really isn’t much difference, I might drive around the neighborhood and try to find something special to write. Maybe most the houses don’t have a flat driveway and my listing does? The sun sets on the front of the house so you can sit on the patio after work without roasting? A lot of natural light? There is always something to talk about.
I can’t wait to see these houses tonight!!