This edition of 2Tips4-2sDay is focused on selling your home. Many factors come into play when selling your home – proper price and marketing, the brass tacks of cleanliness/clutter, home improvements, etc.
Often overlooked when selling your home: photography and ease of showing.
1. Choose a real estate agent skilled in taking good photos.
This can not be stressed enough. Next to setting the right price, the next most important step in getting your home sold is presenting it to buyers and making them want to see it. Since over 80% of home buyers use the Internet first when buying a home, the photos online MUST be appealing.
I am not a professional photographer. I do know a bit about composing a good picture; I used to work for a local professional photographer, have done some free lance projects, and I’ve nurtured a life-long passion for picture taking.
A prime example of how pictures can sell the home is my most recent sale, a contemporary home in Wallenpaupack Lake Estates.
Here are the pictures I took to sell the home. I always take at least 20 – 25 pictures. This home had been listed previously by two other agents; it expired unsold. The pictures used by the expired agents did little to create interest…less than ten photos were used; one was merely a simple tax map of the lot. The cute little breakfast nook by the huge window was not seen, the rear deck overlooking the back yard was overlooked.
REALTOR.COM is the first place most buyers go when searching for their next home. Because pictures matter, I pay an extra fee to showcase all of the pictures for buyers to see. The listings with the most pictures are often chosen by buyers for further investigation…
My buyers stated that they fell in love with the house while viewing it online at REALTOR.COM. (Not all listings on REALTOR.COM have the enhanced listing; many of them are Plain Jane listings with one main photo and that’s it….)
2. Don’t Make It Difficult To Show
Many homes are on the market, and often, I can drive buyers over 100 miles in one day of showings because homes are spread far and wide. Some things make it very difficult to show your home.
- Key in the Office – not a problem if your home is next door to the listing office. Electronic lockboxes are secure and make it easy for any agent to show your home. My buyers declined to look at one house since it would take too much time – a 30 minute drive out of our way to get the key from the listing office; the home was another 20-25 minutes beyond. There are plenty more homes to choose from with electronic lock boxes.
If the key is at the office, then your home most likely will not be shown to my buyers unless they are particularly set on seeing it.
- Ridiculous Requirements – I tried to schedule an appointment one day to for a showing the following day. I was then told that I had to give “a couple days” notice. Huh? Why isn’t 24 hours notice sufficient for a vacation property, especially in the off season?
Oh, the seller wants to be there, and he lives 4 hours away? What the heck is that all about? We did end up seeing the property, but my buyer was not impressed with the rigmarole.
- Tenant Issues. We came to one house and could not see the only bathroom, because the tenant locked her huge dogs in there. Oh, you want to see the master bedroom? Sorry, you can’t, dad is sleeping in there.
Please, make it as easy as possible for buyers to view your property, if you actually want it sold. Juggling around tenants is difficult but perhaps you can give them a nice incentive to be as cooperative as possible.
Rich Jacobson, a Kitsap County Washington REALTOR, wrote an article about not sabotaging your
home showings. Thank you, Rich, for giving me permission to link your excellent article.
Sellers, take heed!
Karen E. Rice is a real estate agent working in Pike & Wayne County of Northeastern PA in the Pocono Mountains. Lake Wallenpaupack is one of Pennsylvania’s most popular destinations for vacations, retirement, and purchasing a home.