The new year is a fresh start. New goals, new challenges, and for some, a new place to live. However, getting a new place to live might be one of your challenges if you need to sell your existing home before you can move into (or make an offer on) a new one.
Today’s real estate market is still competitive. In Atlanta, the average number of days a house is on the market is around 64 days, which is pretty good compared to the national average, between 63 and 93 days.
If your home has been on the market since before the holidays, it might be time to refresh your real estate listing in the new year. Below are a few ways you can update your listing to attract more online views and in-person tours.
Here are 5 Sure-Fire Ways to Update Your Real Estate Listing!
Update the Photos
Over 90% of home buyers search for their next home online but did you know that 85% of those buyers say it’s the photos that are the most important factor when deciding on which homes they want to tour with their real estate agent. The photos you use in your listing should showcase the best features of your home, whether that’s the extra-large island in your kitchen, the kid-friendly backyard, or the spacious living areas or master bedroom. If the photos on your listing don’t make you want to visit your home, then it’s time to update them.
Before you take new photos, you might want to consult with a professional home stager. They can help you stage your home and give it a fresh new look that appeals to the broadest range of potential home buyers and highlights the features of your home. From how to arrange living room furniture to de-cluttering the kitchen countertops if it is an occupied home OR bring in furnishings and decor for those vacant homes to be listed. A home stager can provide current staging advice that can significantly improve online views of your listing with refreshed and more attractive photos of beautifully staged rooms that will drive buyer traffic to attract close to asking price offers.
When you’re ready to upload new photos to your listing, we recommend withdrawing the listing from your local multiple listing service, update the photos, and then re-list the home. Remember, for those agents and sellers in the Atlanta, Georgia area the listings can carry up to 200 photos for each listing with FMLS so take advantage of telling a story about your home and community amenities!
Provide Additional Details
Your real estate listing is the only way for people to get information about your home online. While buyers typically look through the photos first, they also read through the description and supporting information to see what else homes have to offer.
For example, if a buyer is specifically looking for a listing that must have a fenced-in backyard and only wants to see homes that match these specific criteria, then if this information is not included in the listing, your property listed for sale may not show up in those searches.
What information should you include in your real estate listing? Here are some ideas:
- Location – Is your home in a great neighborhood? Is it near shopping and entertainment? Include the specific neighborhood in the description and detail what’s nearby.
- Charming accents – Buyers love charming accents, like built-ins and bay windows. These are great things to highlight in your photos, but you can also detail them in the description.
- HOA dues – Without specifically stating what the dues are, you can easily make it known that there are either no dues (a selling point for some) or low HOA dues compared to the other homes in the market.
- First-floor master – More homebuyers are loving the idea of a first-floor master bedroom, however, it can be hard to tell from photos just what floor the bedroom is on. Noting that the house features a first-floor master can increase the appeal of your home and the potential for an in-person tour.
- New HVAC/water heater/roof – For older homes, the thought of having to replace either the HVAC or roof in a year or two can deter buyers from seriously considering your home. If you’ve recently replaced items like the water heater (maybe installing a tankless water heater?) or roof, include that in the listing description. These are huge selling features that appeal to buyers.
To get more ideas of what to include in your description, look at active listings in your area and see what they highlight.
Review the Comps
Price isn’t the most creative thing to refresh, but it is a factor to consider if your home isn’t getting any serious interest. Before you just drop the price though, review the comps in your area once again. It’s possible that your home is priced right and it could be just by doing a few small tweaks to your listing (like photos and or a virtual tour) can make all the difference.
Add a Virtual Tour
While photos often give a good idea of your home’s layout, they may not always be accurate. Homebuyers are keen to know about the amenities, features, wall color, floor design and all other aspects of a property. Detailed visual information on virtual tours can turn out to be highly beneficial to potential buyers as they carry high visual appeal.
If you decide to add a virtual tour to your listing, keep the following in mind:
- Make sure the lighting is bright throughout your home
- Choose viewpoints that are natural and how a person would see the home in-person
- Make the tour self-guided – this allows people to work through it at their own pace
- De-clutter your home or stage it so people can see what it’s like to go through with furniture
Consider Home Staging and Virtual Staging
If your house listing is vacant and the photos are of empty rooms then most likely they will get overlooked as buyers will move onto the next home that has pictures that display nicely staged rooms and show well with more attractive photos online. Every listing occupied or vacant should portray some form of either home staging or virtual staging to make the home really stand out from your competition.
Home Staging can really make the difference which would entail neutralizing and de-cluttering and getting your home in its most marketable condition to sell. Long gone are the days to stick a sign out in the yard and just sit back and see what happens. More buyers these days are looking for the “total package” and want homes to be move-in ready with little to no renovation or updates needed.
Virtual staging over the years has become a popular new technology-savvy marketing tool that looks very realistic online as if furnishings and decor are in the home. It is an economical tool to stage a home digitally and allows sellers more flexibility to show off a home with specific furnishings more suited to the style of the home perhaps. It also can help with the staging of unique spaces like a yoga room or wine cellar area and even show off outdoor spaces with exterior furnishings along with maybe a fire pit and some potted flowers as well.
Both of these staging services are marketing tools that will turn boring and empty into warm and inviting spaces that will instantly drive buyer traffic to your listing. Web appeal is becoming the new curb appeal so make those first impressions count especially online!