With so many homes available for sale, it’s vital to make your real estate listing stand out. Unless you are older than 71, your first step in buying a house is looking at homes online.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 99% of those 36 years old and younger use the Internet to look at photos, evaluate neighborhoods, and compare properties. I imagine the percentage of all buyers is very close to that number, as well.
The Internet is now ubiquitous. Whether you are looking to buy or not, looking at homes for sale online is a favorite pastime of many Americans just to browse and see “what’s out there.”
Websites like Pinterest have largely grown up out of the desire to see pretty things. Gorgeous real estate certainly fits in that category!
So given that almost everyone who might be buying a home will be looking online, how do you make sure people are focused on your home’s listing and not your competitors?
I’ve identified the three most powerful ways to make your real estate listing stand out.
Make your real estate listing stand out
Before we start, I need to share something that might shock you. Ready? Ok, here we go… your online listings aren’t meant to sell your home.
I can hear you now, “Huh? Are you crazy?!?”
Stay with me. The reason that this is true is that almost no one buys a house without visiting it first. Therefore, the true purpose of a listing is to get showings.
Because this is the case, you want the listing to make the property look so desirable that they have to come to see it in person. How do we do that? Here’s how.
1. High-Quality, Professional Photos
Far and away the most important part of your online listing is the photos. And it’s not even close.
Studies have shown that people don’t read all that wondrous prose you slaved over to describe your home, at least, until after they’ve already looked at the photos to see if they’re interested. When humans are concerned, pictures trump words.
Given that almost all listings will have photos, the real estate listings that truly stand out are the ones with incredible photos. It’s not rocket science here. Better photos make the home look better and those homes are the ones buyers will want to visit in person.
How many photos should be in the listing? That depends. It depends on the property, the competition, and the photos themselves. Expert Realtors know which to include and in what order.
It’s not wise to include a photo of everything. For example, who wants to see a photo of a toilet? Or a water heater? Or anything that doesn’t make the house look great?
Remember, the primary purpose of the listing is not to thoroughly describe the property, it’s to promote the property’s greatest aspects.
2. Strategic Listing Price
Back in the day, pricing real estate worked much like pricing any other product or service. Doesn’t $19.95 sound better than $20.00? I think we would all agree that it does.
But in today’s Internet age, people use the web to perform their home searches. They use the forms found on web pages to narrow the number of matches to exactly what the are looking for in a future home.
Check out this screenshot of Realtor.com and tell me if you notice something.
See how there are prices below the Minimum Price to help you pick your price range? So, let’s say I click on the $250k link. Then I get this screen.
The website is designed to help you set a price range. On this screen, let’s pretend I selected $300k. Now, our range is set from $250,000 to $300,000 and only homes in that price range will appear in our results.
But what if you priced your home for sale at $249,900 because that sounds better than $250,000? Well… your listing would not appear. Sorry mate!
The more powerful choice would be to list exactly at $250,000 because then your home’s listing would appear in the $200,000 to $250,000 results, as well as, anyone who searches for $250,000 to $300,000. Smart!
(Also note that many of today’s largest real estate websites allow you to type exactly what numbers you want in these spots. So for the sake of argument, you could type $265,781 through $309,263 and it would work. But who does that?)
3. Expert Highlighting, Expert Ignoring
This powerful tip shouldn’t surprise anyone—especially anyone in the real estate industry. One of the most important jobs of any Realtor is to highlight the home’s greatest attributes.
The flip side is to make sure to not draw attention to the property’s worst attributes. Let’s be real, every home has both.
Strong agents will evaluate each home and identify its best features and highlight those with both the images and the copy. If the home has a remodeled kitchen, make sure those images are present and early in the order of photographs for the listing. Maybe that’s the lead for the copy as well!
New will always be attractive, assuming the style choices were on point.
Perhaps the home has a large deck on the back. People like decks, right? But what if the deck was built when the house was… 34 years ago? Well, that’s a different story.
If the deck is rickety and about ready to fall down, maybe the smart choice is to repair it so it’s sturdy and safe but that’s still not one of the home’s greatest attributes, so let’s not highlight the deck in the listing.
There are other “tips of the trade” that expert Realtors have in their arsenal for creating powerful real estate listings that get noticed. These other tips are less important than the three I outlined here but you get the idea.
Let’s recap what we learned.
- One, almost all buyers look online for potential homes.
- Two, your listing needs to be designed to get showings.
- Three, highlight the greatest attributes of your home to show it in its best light.
There you have it! If I can help you with your piece of Louisville real estate, please feel free to contact me anytime you like.
Also, I would love for you to share this post. Maybe someone you know is thinking about selling their home. It doesn’t have to be here in Louisville, these strategies work everywhere.