The axiom that first impressions matter is just as true today as it ever was—especially when it comes to selling your home with an online listing.
The first impressions most prospective buyers have of your home is a photo or description on a website.
More than 90% of buyers start their home search online, and many of them have access to real estate listings through a mobile device, using apps like realtor.com‘s Real Estate App.
Homeowners selling their homes need to work with a REALTOR® who understands the importance of an enticing listing encouraging buyers to look more closely at your home. When you hire a listing agent, you should ask for examples of previous online ads and discuss topics such as how many photos will be displayed and which websites will feature your home.
Some REALTORS® pay extra to push their listings to the top of search engines, so you should ask about whether this is an option for your home.
7 Ways to Make Your Online Listing Stand Out
You and your REALTOR® should work together to identify the best-selling features of your home and the target group of potential buyers such as empty-nesters or young families so you can tweak your presentation to get their attention with the following features:
1. Professional photos: There’s no question once buyers set the parameters of their search by price and area they can still be overwhelmed by the number of listings to peruse. Naturally, when scrolling through myriad listings, the first screening mechanism is to glance at photos and reject those without appeal. A listing without a photo will typically be ignored completely, and one with poorly shot or unattractive images will be bypassed entirely.
Talk with your REALTOR® about whether they will hire a professional photographer or if they have excellent skills and a good camera to take the photos themselves. Make sure the photos are taken with good lighting and from angles that show off your house’s best sides. Don’t let photos be taken of clutter or anything making your home look unappealing. Place as many good photos as you have online, because prospective buyers who see just one picture they like will want to scroll through and see more.
2. Provide what buyers want to know: Once buyers are enticed by photos, they will want to know more about the features that matter most to them. Usually this means the kitchen and bathrooms. If you have upgraded these spaces, provide a full description of the surfaces, cabinets, appliances and space. Things like natural light or an open floorplan or an oversized kitchen island should be mentioned, along with a description of the master bath.
3. Highlight the best features: Every home has something appealing, whether it’s a sweet front porch, a finished attic playroom or a distinctive architectural element such as walls of windows or extensive millwork. Mention this upfront online to capture buyer attention.
4. Show off your hard work: If you have made any home improvements or replaced any appliances, systems or flooring, buyers will be thrilled to know they don’t have to spend the time and money on these themselves.
5. Share your neighborhood pride: Whatever makes your community special or your home’s location great—such as good schools, being able to walk to shops or to public transportation, or proximity to a golf course or swimming pool—share this with prospective buyers.
6. Highlight low-cost living: If you have made improvements to your home’s energy efficiency or have designed a low-maintenance garden, be sure to tell buyers they can enjoy lower bills and spend less time on weekend chores.
7. Get poetic: Think about your favorite spot in your home or a happy experience indoors or outside and briefly describe it, so buyers can get a sense of what it could be like to live there.
You and your REALTOR® should work together to craft the most enticing message so that buyers want to take the step of moving offline and into your home.