1. Bad Photos
Blame Instagram filters for making everyone with a smartphone consider themselves a budding Annie Leibovitz. But when it comes to listing photos, resist the urge to snap a few pics with your phone and call it a day. Photos are everything when it comes to making a first impression on potential buyers, so hire professionals to take sharp, high-resolution listing photos from multiple, flattering angles.
And remember to look out for the little things that may be major buyer turn-offs. The dishes in the sink, an open toilet lid, a stray ashtray or even the household pets lounging in the living room often sneak into photos and can signal a red flag for buyers.
Photos may not lie, but listing copy certainly can. You might think that a little exaggeration is a harmless way to get buyers in the door, but your white lies will instantly be evident when it comes time to show, and your newly-alienated buyers will turn right back around. When you lose trust, you lose a potential sale.
3. Error-Riddled Listing Copy
One you make sure your copy is flattering yet truthful, make sure that the spelling and grammar are correct. Forgetting an apostrophe or making a typo might seem like a small thing, but to buyers and their agents it sends a message that you are not detail oriented, and it might make them wonder what other problems they should be looking out for when it comes to your listing.
4. Zero Social Media Presence
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest…the sheer number of social media outlets now can be overwhelming, especially if these networks didn’t exist for the bulk of your career. But your sellers and potential buyers expect you to be online, so pick at least two social media outlets— like Facebook and Instagram—to focus on and update them regularly.
Bonus! By posting daily updates, not only are you giving your listing a marketing boost, you’re also giving your business a boost by consistently reaching past, present, and potential clients and showing off your current success.
5. Empty Flyer Boxes
Being on social media doesn’t mean that you should give up on paper. Plenty of buyers still do drive-bys, and you want them to provide them with a tangible takeaway with information about the property. Sure, an empty box might make buyers think that the home is so in-demand that all the fliers have been taken, but it’s just as likely that it makes the property looks neglected. Either way, you’re probably losing out on a sale.
6. Dirt, Messes, and Odors
Sure, a dirty, smelly home is something that can be fixed, but do you want to risk making a horrible first impression by taking buyers into house full of piles and grime that reeks of cat urine? If homeowners still inhabit the property, you need to be blunt what needs to be done (like a professional cleaning) before it’s fit for viewing, especially if they’re smokers or have pets.
7. Lack of Staging
Sellers might think that staging is a waste of money, especially if they’re pretty proud of their, uh, unique style. But you can get the point across about the importance of staging without having to tell them that their decor is horrendous. Make it clear that the point of staging is to create something of a blank slate so that buyers can envision themselves living there.
When it comes to pricing, many sellers need a serious reality check, and it’s your job to snap them out of their delusions. Focus on the comps in the area, and make a point of showing them the actual selling prices. Let them know that listing high and eventually making a price reduction if necessary isn’t a winning strategy; in fact, it can keep a home from selling at all.
9. No Rebates and Credits
These days, rebates and credits aren’t as necessary in most markets, but at times they can still hold their place. Buyers want to feel like they’re making a smart purchase, so it helps to make them believe that they’re getting a deal.
That’s where rebates and credits come it. If you’re in a particularly competitive market or if you’re simply dealing with a tough-to-sell or stale listing, consider offering a “bonus” like a closing-cost credit so that your property has an edge on similar listings n the area.
10. Poor Follow-Through
Even if you do everything else right, you have to be able to count on the sellers to help you finalize the deal. That means that the sellers need to fill out the necessary documentation, coordinate with the buyers to schedule inspection times, and otherwise dot the I’s and cross the T’s. Give your sellers friendly (but firm!) reminders to make sure they’re doing their part and let them know that you’re there to help them when they need you.
*Info from Trulia.com
Until next time….