4 Craptastic Listing Agent Marketing Mistakes
As most people probably figure, not all Realtors are equal, buying or selling it's wise to choose an agent with prudent criteria.
If you're selling a home and ready to find an agent or screen real estate agents that are perhaps referred to you, here is a list of pertinent questions you can ask to determine if they are skilled at bringing the buyers.
Before I dive into the tips, if you think it doesn't matter you should realize that approximately 90% of sales are accomplished by 10% of agents.
Secondly, when you do hire a good listing agent who does a good volume of sales annually, listen to their advice.
Selling a Home -3 Big Blunders
1 - Photos - This is a whopper - Providing only one photo, taking bad photos and not optimizing them for the internet and for mobile devices. Photos sell homes, so only having one photo is a huge mistake. Bad photos are just as bad. Mobile devices have less memory and buyers will "bounce" or leave your listing when it fails to load quickly because the photos are 15 megabytes each and have been waiting 10 seconds to view the property.
I find the best way is re-sizing them to 1,400 to 1,800 wide and saving them as progressive JPEGS, which still display as a beautiful higher res photo but a tiny fraction of the memory costs.
2 - Listing Descriptions that are Incoherent to Search Engines - Unbelievable, but there are a lot of agents that don't understand that Google can "read". Listing agents should understand they lose search engine results for specifics when abbreviating, not appropriately separating words, etc.
Most MLS (Multiple Listing Services) only allow 300-400 characters for a listing description including spaces. My advice is most important features first, and only abbreviate what is commonly abbreviated in the English language.
Here's an example of an actual, TERRIBLE listing description of a luxury home for sale in West Chester, OH valued at $625,000:
FLAWLESS!1Owner!Aprx6,500SQFT!2Stry,4BD,4.1BA,4+CarGar!Finished Lower Level!Open Flr Plan!2Stry GreatRM W/FirePlace!Chef's Kitchen!Breakfast Bay!HearthRM W/Stone FirePlace!1st Flr MasterSuite W/DLX Spa BA!1st Flr Study!1st Flr Laundry&Mud RM!2nd Flr BDRMS W/WI Closets&Adj Baths!Lower Level W/ FamilyRM,Recreation,Media,ExrcsRM,FullBA&Strg!
Yes, believe it or not, this is the actual listing description. Not only does this description miss out in search engine results for partial phrases like "2 story" or "two story", "over 6,000 sq ft", "4 bedroom", "4 and half baths" etc. it's also damn hard to read and an eyesore.
Again, Google can read. Guess the agent doesn't realize the number of beds and baths don't have to be in the listing remarks as it's entered elsewhere in the listing entry and would leave more space for describing the rest of the home.
If the house is "all that and a bag of chips" why not include links to other pages with fuller, more complete descriptions and generous detail if it won't all fit; more advertising opportunities! Before interviewing a listing agent, ask them for samples of current and past listings. Check the photos, check the listing descriptions.
Here's an example of a comparable home in the same area and price range.
Impressive Stunning Homearama Style Estate overlooking the Signature 16th green. Exquisite Detailing & Design. Granite & Stainless Kitchen. Cozy Hearth Rm w/Beamed Ceil. 1st Floor Owners Suite w/Spa Bath. Finished Walkout LL w/Pub, Sauna, Media/Rec & Bedroom & Full Bath. Covered Outdoor Entertainment Area for Friends & Family. Enjoy the Lifestyle!
3 - Home Improvement for House Value - Your home may or may not need repairs, but an experienced Realtor should be able to tell you whether or not your home's features and fixtures will be appealing or at least acceptable to buyers.
Overpricing your home doesn't mean it will just take longer to sell, you could actually end up with much less net by the time you go through price reductions. When you overprice and aren't in fair market value range, buyers looking in your area's comparable price range will pass you buy.
If the home sits on the market too long, buyers smell the blood in water wondering "what's wrong with it", again skipping it or bringing you low-ball offers that are lower than what fair market value is. Pricing correctly is everything.
4 - Lack of Marketing - No matter how great a listing description and photos, just slapping a home for sale on the local MLS isn't going to cut it. Real estate is an extremely competitive industry for buyers and sellers in pretty much any market and the whole point is to cast the biggest net out to the largest pool of likely buyers possible.
Here are several points to consider when you're interviewing a listing agent about marketing.
- Ask to see their social media profile! Do they have a substantial audience with Facebook? Do they know how to advertise on Facebook?
- What about Youtube and virtual tours / videos? Ask to see their virtual tours or videos.
- Do they have a presence on other social media venues?
- What about syndicated advertising? This means the listing goes out on dozens to hundreds of real estate related websites.
- Will they feature it on their personal site in addition to their real estate broker's site?
- Do they have a good, updated contact database of buyers they can market your listing to?
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