The best way to get potential buyers through the door and interested in your home is with a stellar online listing. Photos of the house and a description of the property are standard fare, but not all listings do what they’re supposed to do. In fact, some might actually do more harm than good.
In many ways, trying to sell your home is like applying for a job, and your online listing is the resume or cover letter. If it’s not polished, you’ll never even get to the next phase.
So, what are the parts of a listing that can turn buyers off? Below are some of the worst offenses.
- Lackluster (or non-existent) description
It can be hard to sum up your home in a couple of paragraphs. However, if you want to attract buyers, you’ll need to paint an inviting picture of the property.
If it is a lakefront home, highlight the best parts of living on the lake; if it is an urban town, mention that you are within walking distance of top-rated restaurants.
Work with your real estate agent to pinpoint what buyers are looking for in your area, so you can mention it as early as possible in the listing description.
Also keep in mind that the online listing might initially show just a couple of lines of text, so make sure the most eye-catching information appears first.
- Too much (or the wrong type of) information
Colorful listing photos or descriptions are sure to entice, but you have to be objective. Your favourite aspects of the home might not have the same effect on buyers.
- Amateur photographs
Everyone thinks they can take quality pictures with their smartphones and save some money, but you only get one chance to impress potential buyers online
That’s why it’s important to feature high-quality photographs, shot by someone who has experience taking photos.
- Not staging your home
While many buyers like to think of a new house as a blank canvas for their own furniture and design tastes, leaving the rooms completely devoid of furniture and art in the listing photos can hurt you in the long run. Buyers like to see the potential of the home, so staging is highly recommended.
- Too many days on the market
Buyers look closely at the listing price and days on the market (DOM) because this information can help them determine whether the house is priced too low or too high—and how much they should offer if they’re interested.
Because every real estate market is different, there isn’t a hard and fast number of days it takes for a listing to be considered stale. However, most real estate agents agree that it takes about 30 days on the market for a listing to lose its lustre.
So how can you revive a stale listing? Additional marketing efforts like new photos or an added incentive may help. But the most effective way to generate more buzz about your property is with a price adjustment.
The best tactic, ultimately, is to price the house correctly the first time, so it doesn’t end up languishing on the market for a couple of weeks.
An overpriced home will force a seller to drop the price of their home numerous times to reach the ‘sweet spot’ where buyers become interested in the listing.