As a South Florida licensed real estate professional Realtor, I often find myself looking up listings for my buyers that do not showcase the property to its fullest potential and so are subpar. So what do I mean when I say “Subpar”, lets say not showcasing the property to its maximum. I’ll touch on a few of the most glaring short comings that owners who hire these agents should look out for.
IMO the four most glaring deficits in most property listings include the property Pricing, Staging, Photos, Property description.
1) Pricing– A recent survey of professional realtors said that the biggest problem with most listings is that they are over priced. Over 77% of professional respondents said listing were over priced, so why does this matter? For one very important reason, over priced listings take longer to sell, while there are several other fundamental reasons why over priced listing negatively impact a sale the most important reason to consider is, buyers do not want to pay more then a property is worth. With over 90% of buyers looking for properties on the internet, buyers also have access to public records as well as home price estimates from multiple though rarely accurate sources, so its very important for the agent to get the listing price close to true Fair Market Value. So one may ask, why do agents take over priced listings? Generally its because they want that listing at any price and hope by telling the seller what they want to hear that the seller will let them have the listing and eventually will agree to drop the price to reflex actual fair market value. Well I’m here to tell you, hope is not a good plan, nor is it ethical because the seller is relying on the agents expertise to guide them through all aspects of the process. They may not like what the agents has to say about what there property is worth and they may not want to work with the agent because of it, but that’s a chance the agent should take.
IMO the agent should do whats right for the seller without compromising the process or themselves even if it means not getting the listing!
2) Staging– Staging means arranging things (furniture, lighting etc) in a property so that it reflects and or shows offs the properties best attributes. Once again most agents will leave everything just the way they find it. One reason is most sellers like the way they have staged their home, so to avoid conflict the agents don’t even discuss the subject with them. Rest assure that buyers will look and discuss it and they may walk away with bad feelings about the property that could have been avoided if some staging was done, that’s why it important to have that conversation with the seller. Now when you have that conversation I understand “best attributes” is subjective, so lets just say organize things so the property looks better after then before. Also how one stages a property depends on the listing, while it may make sense to bring in a professional to stage a million + listing for most other listings its not about spending money but more about spending some time rearranging things to better showcase the property.
IMO every agent should make sure the property is set up to show its best side, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression”!
3) Photos– Its said ” A picture is worth a thousand words” so why aren’t more agents take heed! Great question! sadly the answer to that eludes me! When an agent lists a property they are able to upload over 30 photos and include a virtual tour but most do not. My unscientific analysis of listings indicated more then 90% of home for sale listing have approximately 15 photos on average,including at least one industry standard “agent standing in front of the mirror taking a picture of them self shot” and no photo virtual tour. Considering that over 90% of buyers look for a virtual property tour it amazes me that over 90% of agents refuse to comply, I don’t get it but “it is what it is”!
To make matters worse most of these photos are taken with the agents cell phone, and usually taken without maximizing the properties natural and artificial lighting. Then to add insult to injury the photos are not even touched up with the software that every camera comes with. So sadly most property listing photos end up looking just like what they are “poorly taken unedited photos.
IMO if the agent is not willing to do there best to provide their seller with above average property photos they should then hire a professional photographer when warranted.
4) Property Description- Every property listing gives the agent plenty of room to provide as detailed a property description as possible. This doesn’t mean providing every detail for the property, or providing a list of items included with the property. A good property description tells a short story about the property that pulls in the reader, with important facts, items etc weaved into the narrative. Most agents write a flat cold contents based description that reads more like an invoice rather than a Hallmark card.
IMO Agents should chose their words carefully and make sure the property description draws in the reader without being misleading.
Check out my featured listing 3222 Embassy Dr and its virtual tour, all 4 points discussed here in were taken into consideration when setting up this listing. Your feedback would be very much appreciated.