Obviously, ALL of my clients are currently "sellers", but what is often ignored is that they are also "buyers" on the flip side. They have made the decision to list for sale, so obviously they have to start their search for their new home. So, they also fit the demographic of "buyer" when I am working with them. So, I have a first-hand chance to always be researching and asking them questions. This information I get from my clients is invaluable, as it represents what the BUYER, in the current market is looking for.
Whenever the seasons have noticeably changed in Alberta, and the topographical landscape has been visibly altered for a period of time, I start hearing the same themed comments from my clients.
A common question I ask of my clients goes like this: "So, as you have been doing your search for your new home, what are some of the things that prevent you from being at all interested in a particular listing?"
Lately (and this is a normal response when seasons change), my clients have been offering a very helpful answer. And, keep in mind, this answer is common from client to client. They mention other items, but always focus on this one:
"We notice MLS listings, and the listings on many Realtors'® sites, do not have the official listing-date posted. So, as a buyer, because the length of time a listing has been sitting without selling is of interest to us, we are left guessing. When we see green grass in the exterior photos, yet we are into December, all we can do is assume that it is an old listing. We immediately wonder why it has not yet sold, and have to assume that something is wrong with it. Is it way over-priced? Are there pricey structural issues? So, we simply ignore those listings, and keep searching. We don't have the time to dig deeper into any potential issues."
So, the key point here is that the exterior photo on listings automatically tells the savvy buyers today WHEN the property was listed.
I am writing today because, here we are on December 05, with our permanent snow-blanket on the ground in Edmonton and area. I just looked back in my day-timer, as I know exactly where I was on THE day of the first snow this year. I was cleaning a foreclosure condo. The day was OCTOBER 25!!! And, I know that since that day, we have not been quite warm enough for all of it to melt.
So, the problem with this is that any listings out there on the internet (MLS and your Site) with bare grass showing are now quite dated in the buyer's eyes. This exterior photo tells the buyer that the listing is 41 Days old.
The moral of this story is that because buyers make their decisions on their "short-list" based on emotions and because they are very visually driven throughout the purchase process, by simply changing out the exterior photo on your listings to ones with snow on the ground right now, you can re-capture the attention of these same buyers. This is almost visual trickery, but VERY effective. People with photographic memory will simply scan pages of listings, waiting for a listing that is not familiar. So, changing up the exterior photo grabs their attention enough for them to at least click on it and read further.
I have had Realtors® react to this suggestion saying how the almost immediate influx of new calls on these listings almost seemed miraculous.
This may be something for you to try, provided you have the time to run over to your properties to take that new exterior photo. I almost guarantee you will see a difference!