You’re selling your house, and because almost 90% of buyers now begin their search for a new home online, the way your property is marketed on MLS (a.k.a. Multiple Listing Service) is extremely important. In essence, the real estate related sites – Realtor.com, Trulia, Zillow and hundreds more – get their information by downloading what’s on MLS. And so it’s essential that you pay careful attention to the MLS information and ensure that your listing is being showcased to maximize the marketing of your home. Keep in mind that buyers are looking for reasons not to come view your property, and so you want to make sure the MLS information minimizes any potential negativities and maximizes the buyer’s interest in seeing your home. After all, you can’t sell your home if people don’t come to see it. The ultimate goal is to get the buyers through the front door so they can fall in love with your home and ultimately buy it!
In terms of marketing your property on MLS, there are three aspects to which you should pay especially close attention:
The Photos – This is the most important aspect of your MLS listing. Before buyers look at anything (besides price and address), they will look at the photos of your house. The pictures are the buyer’s first introduction to your home, and they can make or break your property. It’s prudent, therefore, to hire a professional photographer so that the spaces look as large, focused and well-lit as possible. If the photos are fuzzy and make the rooms look small, dark and unappealing, a buyer will surely dismiss your property. It brings to mind the saying, “You only have one chance to make a first impression.” And in this case, the first impression is an online one, which makes the quality of the photos that much more paramount.
The Copy – The MLS description of your property is also important and conveys aspects of your home that the numbers, figures and even photos don’t. For example, perhaps the home technically has only four bedrooms because of the septic size, but it functions as a 5 bedroom home. This is crucial information to share with buyers and can be articulated through the MLS description. In fact, reading this could cause a buyer with three children, who was feeling that the bedroom situation wasn’t adequate for the size of her family, to ultimately decide to come see your house. Mission accomplished!
The Room Sizes/Floor Plan – We look at the room sizes/floor plan using the “buyers are looking for reasons not to come see your property” filter. And when we look at it this way, there are some crucial guidelines to remember. First, if the room sizes seem small, you may not want to include them. Perhaps your dining room is 8′ x 12′, but feels much bigger when you’re actually in the room. In cases like these, including the room size could be detrimental to the listing and become a reason for a buyer to cross your property off her home viewing list. In addition to leaving room sizes off the MLS listing sheet, you may decide not to attach the floor plan as well. Let’s say that the buyer doesn’t like it when the family room and kitchen aren’t open to one another, but in truth, when you’re in the house, they do feel open to one another. If the floor plan is attached and they see the lack of openness on paper, they could very well dismiss your property and move on to other properties. For these reasons, you may decide not to include the room sizes and not to attach the floor plan to the MLS listing, thus motivating buyers to come see the spaces, layout and room sizes for themselves.
One other MLS marketing question involves the inclusion of a virtual tour. Should you have it on the MLS listing or not? And is it an effective tool for the buyers? My answer is yes, I think you should include it on the MLS listing, but I don’t think it is the most effective marketing tool. Often times the tours last for three minutes, and that’s much more time than buyers care to spend watching them. But for those who are willing to devote the time to watching the tour in full, it could ultimately be the tool to convince them to come see your property.
So that’s it – the 1-2-3 of Maximizing the Marketing of your MLS Information. What are your thoughts on the subject? When selling your last home, did you find that the MLS photos, description and room sizes/floor plan helped or hurt your property? What would you do differently in this regard next time? I can’t wait to hear….
For more information on this or about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett (www.lisacurlett.com, 781-267-2844 or firstname.lastname@example.org), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.