Is Your House Listing Turning Buyers Off or On?Recently I had the good fortune to work with a higher-end and well-educated Buyer.  It turned out to be quite an enlightening process and that experience is the inspiration for this blog. 

My first "introduction" to this Buyer was via an email they sent to me after viewing my profile on Trulia.com.  We worked together for about 3 months before I met them in person to show them homes.  Within 4 hours we were sitting down to write an offer on a $425,000 home.  By that evening they were under contract.  This alone should convince even those of you who are still on the fence about the power of the Internet in the real estate process. 

What I learned during that 3 month period of "showing" them homes on the Internet was invaluable.  Sellers, pay attention!  By the time they arrived in Green Valley they had essentially narrowed their list down to a handful of homes based on the quality of how those homes had been marketed on the Internet. 

My Buyer began his search process by signing up for the free automated search feature on my website, which provides homes that fit the Buyers specific critera to your email inbox daily.  It allows Buyers to be the first to know about new listings in the greater Green Valley AZ real estate market area that meet the criteria that they provide.  Selling in today's highly digital world means that you must tailor the marketing of your home to the way Buyers are buying homes -- about 85% of them are beginning their search on the Internet. 

So if you, as a Seller, are still focused on how many times your listing is featured in the local newspaper then you have missed the boat that sailed ages ago.  Today, you need to be concerned about how visible your listing is on the major public real estate sites.  While there are many, focus on the top 3:  Trulia.com, Zillow.com, and Realtor.com.

Give your listing about 3 to 5 days from the time it is entered into the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) systems as it can take several days for it to make its way into the major public sites.  At a minimum, go out to each of the sites I listed above, enter Green Valley, AZ into the search area and then look carefully.  Is your agent visible in the search?  Can you find the house you are selling?

Once you find your listing on these sites, then take a critical look at it as though you are a Buyer.  Ask yourself, if you were shopping on the Internet for your perfect home in Green Valley, AZ--would your listing make your "must see" list based on the way it is marketing on these sites? 

Back to my Buyer story.  Although there were more than 35 homes in the Canoa Ranch, Canoa Northwest areas in Green Valley, AZ only 5 made the "must see"  Same with Quail Creek--only 3 to 5 made the list.  Why such a small percentage?

The answer is simple--Buyers are attracted to listings that have MANY high quality photos.  Green Valley's MLS allows 25 photos per listing--if yours only has 3 to 5 not so great photos, even if it is a better deal than the others in the neighborhood, it may never make the Buyers' "homes to see" list.  While the MLS allows 25 photos, most of the public sites allow considerably more. 

Remember, as bad as not doing enough is overdoing it.  Potential Buyers want to be able to click on your listing and quickly ascertain if it is of enough interest to add it to their favorites. They don't want to wade through too many photos--especially ones that add nothing to their decision making process.

You want there to be just enough photos to give Buyers' the opportunity to truly experience your home before they ever step inside.  Back to my Buyers, there were 3 homes, (including the one they bought!) that didn't make their list simply because the online marketing turned them off.   I added them to their list because I knew all 3 fit their specific criteria.  

When selling your home, keep in mind that Buyers love virtual tours.  Once again, the quality and content of the phots can make or break the tour.

While less important, a well written description of the house you are selling can help to convince Buyers that yours is worth seeing.  But many more Buyers than not, are only going to look at the pictures and virtual tour so those are, by far, most important. 

Understanding the power of today's technology can result in your being viewed by thousands upon thousands of Buyers versus a hanful from a marketing plan that isn't heavily Internet focused.

Your first and most important question to every agent you interview to list your home should be: "how will you leverage today's technology to sell my home?"  Find out if they have the advanced skills  necessary to market in today's digital age--including Certified Resdential Specialist (CRS) and ePRO designations.  Check out their website--does it invite you to spend time on it or turn you off? 

After you hire them, you should continue to make sure your agent is delivering what they promised--which, at a minimum, must be high quailty exposure for your house to the 85% plus Buyers who are are searching for their home on the Internet.

Are you thinking about selling?  Begin with a free, no obligation comparative market analysis.  Or give me a call at 520-241-7780.  I would love to show you the power of my proven marketing plan that heavily focuses on leveraging today's digital age to successfully sell homes.