Northern Virginia Buyers Live in an HGTV World- Professional Marketing Matters When Your House is Listed for Sale!

If you are selling your home you need to understand that all potential buyers now live in an “HGTV,” world, and they will look at, and seriously consider homes that they feel are “move-in-ready,” and presented that way both on line, and on-site. living room istockWe showed homes yesterday in Alexandria to an “out-of-town buyer.”  As all buyers do now, she began her search online, and commented that she was unable to draw any real conclusions because either information was missing in the listing (room sizes, etc.), or the pictures were bad, or that the pictures showed so much clutter in the house that she immediately dismissed them as having potential.

We were quickly able to determine that three of the homes she dismissed actually did have great potential, just bad pictures and information.  When we actually showed the listing, there were no professional brochures or buyer agent conveyance information in the homes.  One was so totally cluttered and dirty that you could not see the “bones” of the house, which were actually very good.

So why does this matter to you as a seller?  NAR studies show that over 90% of buyers today begin their home search on line and then work with a buyer agent to facilitate the sale. If there are no pictures or bad pictures, and missing information, they will immediately dismiss that house as one that won’t work for them and one they really don’t want to see.

They may be looking at six to eight or more houses in one day, especially if they are “out-of-town” buyers.  If they view a house and there is no professional brochure to take with them when they leave, the house will not be “memorable” at the end of the day, even if it was a house they really liked.  If it is cluttered and dirty, buyers usually won’t go past the first few rooms. If it has “delayed maintenance” issues and needs paint, carpet and wallpaper removed, all they think about is work and how much it will cost.  Preparation and professional marketing is critical!

My point to all this is that it is the job of the listing agent to insure that a home is prepared well and professionally marketed. It is also a partnership between the seller and the listing agent.  If the goal is getting the best possible price for the house in the shortest amount of time, that means honest upfront guidance, and agreement and cooperation on what needs to be done to prepare it for sale.

It means utilizing professional pictures for online marketing, having a professional and “memorable” brochure on site, as well as conveyance information for the buyer’s agent to make it easy to review details and write an offer.  It also includes putting accurate and specific information in the MLS listing, including room sizes so buyers can determine if they can see themselves actually living in the house.  Not doing these things undoubtedly means more time on the market and ultimately a lower sale price.

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