Where are you going to move to next? Will you find another house you love? Will the moving process go smoothly? They’re just a few of the dozens of questions you probably have if you’re getting ready to sell your home and look for another. But first things first: You have to find that buyer! The right real estate listing could make the difference between your home selling quickly, or not at all.
You may not have thought much about your real estate listing, but it’s a critical piece of the home-selling pie. Getting it wrong may not necessarily cost you a sale if your home is well-priced, located in a hot area, and you have great listing photos. But it could help you attract the right buyers if done well.
If you’re working with a good, experienced real estate agent, they are probably already following these tips (and, if not, it might be time for another agent!). Which brings us to our first tip:
Listen to your real estate agent
There are numerous applications for this, but, the most important one—and one that has the biggest potential to attract or repel potential buyers—is your listing price. It’s common practice for sellers to disagree on the price of their home. No one wants to sell for less than they think their home is worth or what they think they can get.
Trusting in your agent’s pricing strategy is important. Don’t be surprised if the recommended price comes back with a “9” in it. There is a psychology to this.
“When cruising the aisles at the grocery store, ever notice how many prices end in 99s? That’s no accident. This strategy is called charm pricing and relies on the truism that $5.99 sounds less expensive than $6.00, even though the difference is only one penny,” said Homelight. “But does this theory translate to real estate? An analysis of four million home sales showed that yes…you’d actually be wise to round your list price down to the nearest $9,000. So if you were to determine your fair market value was $450,000, you’d want to go for $449,000.”
The other reason is more practical. If your buyer has to stay under $450,000 for their home purchase, your place will show up in their search.
Watch your words
“Cozy” means “small.” Assume your buyer—or your buyer’s agent—has looked at the square footage. You don’t need to remind them your house is the size of a shoebox. “Charming” could means lots of things—in need of updates, probably not done to the buyer’s taste, or, the kiss of death, “interesting.” A term like “great potential” will likely make the buyer think a deal can be had because the home is in need of a serious makeover.
Carefully choose which features to mention
Some could be more valuable than others. “Mentioning certain home features like professional appliances, wine cellar, steam shower and waterfall countertop can boost sales prices from 24% to 34%,” said SFGate.
Think about the area
It may turn out that your buyer is hyperlocal, but many experts advise that sellers focus on out-of-area prospects. Even a buyer from 10 minutes away many not be aware that there are 12 community parks, 20 miles of trails, and four museums in the area.
Especially if you’re in a market with a lot of listings in your price range, it’s important for your listing to stand out. “Look at typical real estate ads and you will notice they tend to be similar and boring,” said SFGate. ‘How would you react if you read an ad among 24 others that is in capital letters and says, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? 12 Acres of Wooded Land for HOW MUCH?” If you were looking for raw land, would you click on it?’
Write an effective headline
Your house has to make a great first impression to attract buyers, and so does your listing. This isn’t a time to be boring.
Check for errors
Every couple weeks or so we see a listing with a glaring error in the price of a home for sale (such as one that makes a $300,000 home look like it’s listed for $3,000 or even $3,000,000). And that’s not the only easy mistake to make.
“For example, if your house is listed on Polar Lane when it is actually on Poplar, your place may never be found, even if it is turnkey and well priced,” said the Los Angeles Times. “The same holds true if the school district is incorrect, the ZIP Code is wrong, the number of bedrooms is misstated or the map coordinates are inaccurate.”