Updated: Nov 4
How can you make your real estate listing stand out? We recently interviewed some of Oklahoma City's best real estate agents. They took a short break from surveying comparables, preparing materials, chugging RedBul land listening to "hype" music to give us four things that they recommend for achieving the best-looking listings:
1. Great presentation
We can't understate the importance of presenting a home really well. It is an absolutely critical step to making your listings stand out.
Doing the work to earn a new client, listing a home, then foregoing the preparation component of a listing is kind of like dropping the $2,000 wedding cake inches from the table.
Don't be that guy.
Alone. At the kids' table. In the back of the room, with the occasional "death glare" pointed at him.
Kristy Beissel from Redfin Corp. says:
"There was a home in Del City. The sellers killed it with their inexpensive, but very impactful, updates. They knew every single little thing about the home, and they disclosed it. They had taken such good care of it. They worked hard to have it super clean and shining for their pictures. And the pictures looked so good. It sold on DAY 1 for $20K over. Because of their hard work and their reasonable listing price, it attracted a ton of people. This allowed them to afford a home in Tulsa that they never imagined they could afford. It was nearly twice the size of the home they sold and in great condition. They were so happy."
Kristy Beissel: Redfin Corp.
So what presentation tips do agents recommend?
The most popular tip for presenting a home is to declutter, which means minimizing the number of items in the room.
It's a process.
It can take time and it can be difficult, but it is well worth the effort. When there are too many items in a room, it makes the room feel smaller and more cramped. The exact opposite of what buyers are looking for. Take back control of your space and get that listing sold.
"Make sure it's clean and smells good. Open the blinds/curtains. Play happy, relaxing music. Put a pot of colorful flowers on the porch. Make it shine. Clean, clean, clean. Paint the baseboards. Organize the pantry, closets, etc. Little things matter." -- Kristy Beissel
Jeni White from Redfin Corp. says:
Clean like your in-laws/your bosses are coming to town for a visit! Provide as many updates/repairs as you can in a binder on the counter for buyers to peruse, buyers love to see how well you've cared for your home."
Jeni White: Redfin Corp.
There are occasions when much more is required. Especially, when the agent or seller are seeking a top price.
As noted by Redfin:
“Presenting a well-maintained home and giving a positive first impression is so important when selling your house. And although staging is optional, it really shouldn’t be. A staging professional’s job is to stage your home in a way that will emphasize the property’s strengths and minimize its weak points. This will allow your home to be shown at its maximum potential. They’ll be able to give your home the final touch it needs to stand out from the competition and appeal to the majority of buyers."
Staging a home can be as simple as rearranging furniture or moving large items into storage. Or, you may prefer to have the staging company bring furniture, artwork, decor, lights, greenery, and area rugs to stage your home. If you’re working with a tight budget, focus on the entryway, living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and master bedroom. It’s also important to create a blank canvas by stowing away family photos and any other personal items.
Some of it could be attributed to real estate shows like those on HGTV, where viewers are constantly exposed to amazing listings that are immaculately presented. When they arrive at a tour, they expect that same high standard.
And they should.
Competition can be stiff in the housing market. If the home is dated, it won't entice buyers to linger or offer a competitive price. Especially, when they start comparing that listing to another home that is presented much better.
2. Be present for the photoshoot
Some agents will not attend a real estate photo shoot, or they'll push the photographer to move through as quickly as possible so the seller won't be inconvenienced for any longer than is necessary. While it is important to put your customers first, getting great photos that sell their homes is much more valuable than saving them half an hour.
A well-planned and coordinated photo shoot, where the agent and real estate photographer collaborate effectively ensures that the right photos are captured. Real estate agents are experts at identifying selling features of a home and can easily and efficiently guide photographers toward features they may be unaware of. This helps ensure that compelling images present the home in the absolute best possible way, and get the best possible result.
Is this actually important?
"Absolutely! Buyers make split decisions about which homes to tour based on the photographs online. Having amazing photos of each room, with pops of color to get buyers to stop and actually consider the space, is key to selling the home." - Jeni White
3. Use drone photos, when it’s appropriate...
Drone photos get buyers' attention. They can be extremely invaluable for a number of reasons.
Have a listing with a great location?
Drone photos can show how close it is to any landmarks, community features, or urban centers.
Have a large property with tons of space?
Drone photos can show the full scope of the property.
Have a listing with a lot of trees around it?
Drone photos can give prospective buyers a clearer, bird's eye view of the entire property.
Have a property with a bad roof or a messy backyard? Extremely close to the neighbors?
Skip the drone photos.
FYI: All drone pilots are not created equal. Some do not have the expertise to know which angles complement a property, some use cheap drones with terrible cameras, and some are prone to sudden bouts of gravity.
As one writer noted in this article at Inman – Drones in real estate: 3 things to consider before hiring a pilot:
“Make sure you ask for a testimonial, see previous examples of their work, and ask if they carry general liability insurance. The risk is too high to hire a pilot without these qualifications.”
4. Share the listing on social media
Let's face it. Prospective buyers in Oklahoma City are probably searching for homes online, and they probably use social media on a daily basis. It only makes sense that you and your listings are there as well.
Many agents only post their latest listings, and that can be a mistake. This is elaborated on by AgentImage:
“You have to mix it up and share more content on Facebook that peaks the interest of your followers, not just pitching your latest listing.
While posting high quality photos of your properties can help you to get more shares and likes, you should also create content that is interesting to your demographic that will create a buzz, generate awareness about the community and real estate market, and solicit feedback and interaction.
You need to stand out from other real estate agents. Post advice, post images, and share information about the local real estate market. Whatever you post, post every day.”
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