As one of the cornerstones of our business, listings are our lifeline. They are one of the most vital pieces of having a successful career in the real estate industry.
If this is the case, then why do listing agents continue to slack off when it comes to getting a listing ready to market?
As a listing agent, I believe that it’s your job to put your best effort forward when it comes to marketing a listing. But that goes way beyond a flyer, some pictures and an agent open house. It starts the moment after the listing appointment, but well before the listing goes live on the MLS.
It’s your job to do your due diligence before listing a home, just as a buyer would before they purchase a home. There are four things that we have found are fantastic ways to ensure that your listing is ready to go.
Often, owners don’t know of potential issues with their home when they get ready to list it. As a result, they fail to mention issues on a property disclosure. When a buyer comes through, they go through their inspection/due diligence period, and they will find the issues.
As a result, sellers feel blindsided with these issues and could be in a position where they feel that they have to swallow all of the repair costs to sell their home. Whether you pay for a pre-inspection or encourage your clients to pay for one to be done, an inspection allows you and your clients to get ahead of the issues that might be present.
Many times, the issues can be fixed ahead of time for less money than it would cost when a buyer comes through.
2. Measuring (if no current appraisal is available)
We have all seen this scenario: the tax records have a square footage, the MLS has a different square footage and the owner has a third square footage. How do you know which one to go with?
Many MLSs allow a 10 percent rule, so on a 2,000-square foot home, you can be off by 200 square feet. But what happens if there is a bonus room that was finished off that wasn’t accounted for? Or, even worse, an overstatement of square footage?
It’s in the best interest of the agent and the seller to have the house measured before listing. If there is a recent appraisal, this might be a different story. But as a rule of thumb, it’s best to have a recent measurement to back up your square footage.
It’s amazing to see the amount of stuff that people have. Sometimes it’s an entire wall of family photos; other times it’s wall-to-wall clutter. When we think staging, we think of full-blown staging; taking an empty house and filling it with an appropriate amount of furniture.
Although this might be necessary (depending on the situation), having someone with an eye for staging go through the home can be just as beneficial. A stager knows how to arrange the couch to make the room look bigger, provides tips on decluttering and depersonalizing and can even suggest small accessories that enhance the appeal of a home.
I am a huge advocate for professional photography. There are few things more crucial when it comes to finalizing your listing than good pictures. You can check out my previous article on photography here.
Think of this as an investment in your listings. Whether you pay for these services, offer them as a competitive advantage to your sellers or convince your sellers that it’s in their best interest, I am a firm believer that doing your due diligence should come first.
I believe that when you do your due diligence before putting your newest listing on the market, your listing will move faster and your sellers will be happier.
Jay Luebke is a residential sales specialist and the visual coordinator with The ART of Real Estate in Columbia, S.C. You can follow The ART of Real Estate on Twitter @TheARTeam.