Last month we began with Part One of our series, Photos & Virtual Tours. Visual images are the most effective and important tools (of course, along with proper pricing) available to attract interest and showings through your listing. This month's focus albeit of secondary importance is still an integral part of your property's online image.
So why worry about a description if the visual is what truly brings in the buyers? The simple answer is why not? It boils down to fully exhausting every possible promotional avenue to market your home.
About 95% of real estate transactions go through the MLS system with a Realtor representing a buyer showing a client through a listing and preparing an offer to purchase. Additional marketing avenues that we employ like open houses, classified websites, printed flyers, illuminated yard signs, social media marketing and the like, are all classified as peripheral exposure. While they are not nearly as effective as the power and scope of the MLS system why would you choose not to utilize them and continue to look for new effective methods?
- Basic Layout
Giving buyers a general idea of what rooms the property offers and where they are located. This gives the buyer a better mental image of how the photos really fit together and how the property flows.
- Unique Features
These are the attributes that may put a listing above the crowd or make it memorable to a potential buyer like "2009 SAM Award-Winning Builder!" or even something as simple as an appealing landmark or amenity located close by.
- Extras & Upgrades
This is one of the most important portions of the write-up. There is nothing worse than a buyer coming through the property and not being aware of all of the listing's positive attributes. Similar to the unique features a potential buyer should be aware of the extras and upgrades so they can truly compare the whole package the property offers to the competition.
The additional information categories should also always be filled out to their fullest, like directions to the listing, inclusions, accurate measurements and my favourite, school information. We always research and include the 'designated' schools for our listings not just the closest schools. It doesn't do a buyer much good to have a school located a few minutes away if your kids won't be going there.
Granted the MLS system is certainly not perfect and more often than not all of the information will not fit into the 1,020 characters allowed in the description field. That is where effective communication skills and the experience a Realtor brings to the table from working with buyers and sellers comes into play so the decision can be made as to what features will be the most saleable in a particular community or market.
To reluctantly reference a tired quote, if the pictures of a property are in fact worth a 1,000 words then you now know that the description is worth an extra 1,020...well characters anyway...because the MLS only allows...never mind, you get the idea.
Next Month: Part Two, COMPLETE ONLINE MARKETING