I had quite a few listing appointments this last month. I spoke to people from as young as 25, to a lovely couple in their 80’s. While that is a broad age range, one thing is true for all sellers. They all want to know what they need to do to get their home on the market. There are a lot of beliefs out there, and not all are accurate anymore. I find it fascinating to listen to some of the thoughts my selling clients have, regarding what they think they need to do to sell their home. Let me share a few that are relevant and some that are not.
Personal Photos: Some sellers think you should remove every personal phot you have in the house. While I get the concept, it’s not 100% true. A few personal photos in a home can really win the hearts of a potential buyers. That being said, I do recall a house of a local TV host that had a ton of wedding photos, some poster size… seriously! That, I can see as being excessive. So, use your better judgement and maybe scale down to a few favorites!
Open houses: This is a practice that has radically changed over the last several years. Lately I have had sellers asking me NOT to have an open house! I do them by request, but lately the people that visit them are not really looking, as much as they are just curious. Statistically, only 1% of homes are sold by open houses. People can see homes online now and most would rather view the home AT home without an agent bothering them. Open houses are also a way to have your personal items stolen. I generally don’t recommend them unless the home is vacant. It’s just not worth the time.
Counters: My last appointment, we discussed counter space and my suggestion was to clear most of the items off for photos. This is something that makes me crazy when I look at listings online. The agent and seller fail to clear extra appliances from the counter, along with vitamins, papers etc. This is an area where you really need to show off your space! Feel free to put them back if you need to AFTER the photos. No one expects you to keep the coffee maker in the pantry, but if you have more than one, move it for the photos!
Photos: The last two things I mentioned have this topic in common. Photos can make or break your listing. If not done properly, your listing can sit for some time. You should know that a majority of agents will not pay a photographer to shoot the home. They will use their phone. Seriously? That’s not only cheap, but it does a huge disservice to the homeowner. I can’t tell you how many times I have taken over another agent’s listing where I have actually RAISED the list price and added new photos and changed up the description. Great photos make a huge difference and it’s not just the photos, but the order they get displayed. Remember, people are buying with their eyes and you can easily lose their attention if you start your listing by showing 10 drone shots right off the bat. I see it all the time.
So, if you are going to list, be sure to get the opinion of someone who has been there and made the selling mistake in the past, so you don’t make them moving forward. I always tell sellers, I have spent a lot of money on good marketing and wasted money on the bad. You have to try a lot of things to come up with the right marketing plan. After 20 years, I am pretty confident I have the right combo, but you can be assured, I am always trying something new. Happy selling!