If you were having a very special dinner party, would you wait until all the guests have arrived to start cooking and cleaning? Of course not! Yet every morning when I check my clients’ new listing notifications from our MLS it never ceases to amaze me how many brand new listings have absolutely NO photo(s) of the property. And, if I show an anxious buyer a new listing on the first day I can almost guarantee there will be no property handouts/brochures at the showing and that we may even run in to cleaning crews or worse yet, clutter. We’re lucky if there is even a lockbox in place!
Here are some key practices I consider extremely important to the overall success of a home sale:
- Interviewing a potential REALTOR should be a two-visit process and should take place ideally at least a month before the seller intends to list their property. The first visit allows the REALTOR to get a thorough tour of the property and see all of the upgrades, issues and warts that will help them prepare a more accurate market analysis. The second visit should focus on the Comparative Market Evaluation, the Marketing Plan, and if all goes well, the listing paperwork.
- When you sit down to do the listing paperwork, your agent should also prepare a pre-listing to post-listing calendar with you including dates for photography, measuring for floorplans, marketing deadlines, cleaning, painting, and final staging leading up to the first day of showings. The post-listing calendar would outline broker caravans, luncheons, special events, dates of advertising if applicable and time frames for showing feedback summaries.
- Almost every property I have ever listed needed some kind of staging. Whether it is a long or short list, all staging should be complete the day before any showings begin and ideally in time for the photographer. Don’t fall in to the trap of letting your agent put their own “temporary” photos up until they can get the professional ones and never allow showings before the property is staged and ready to be seen.
- The day the listing hits the MLS all photography and marketing should be in place and the house and garden should be sparkling so that you start out with a BANG for your very first showings!
If this isn’t happening, or you feel pressure to put your property on the market ASAP, then you need to see real estate expert David Knox’s dvd that talks about the importance of the first two weeks of a listing. He clearly and simply explains that it is during the first two weeks that a new listing will have the most serious buyers and that it is critical to take advantage of every marketing opportunity during that time. (It also helps sellers to understand why it is not a wise financial decision to test the market with a high sales price). The MLS instant notification system that send emails to our buyers every time a new listing hits the MLS is an incredible tool. Show thesebuyers multiple, professional photos! (I know Realtor.com may take a few days, but make sure to have multiple photos there too!)
If this doesn’t make complete sense, then pretend that you are about to have a spectacular dinner party and that you need to have everything perfect when you open your front door for your first guests.