This week I received an email from a lady whose inherited house has been on the market for 6 months. She lives more than 100 miles from the community, and is busy with her own job, so she hasn't done much more than list the house and trust the agent. But she said a friend had called this week to tell her the MLS ad was “lame.” She'd also seen a newspaper ad she thought was lacking, so she wanted my advice on how she could re-write the ad.
I sent her my handout on “Ad writing 101.” Then my curiosity got the best of me. I asked her to send me the link to her listing.
It took a couple of days, because she didn't have it and her agent didn’t respond when she asked for it, so she Googled it and found it on Trulia.
Here’s what it says: “Nicely turnkey furnished home with family room off kitchen. Drywall, vaulted ceiling. Wood cabinets. Tile floors. Bay windows in living room. Shutters. Private patio with with some mountain views. Walk to pool. Carport converted to tandem grage.” (Yes, garage is misspelled, and the word “with” is doubled. After 6 months, you’d think the agent might have corrected those errors.)
This description alone would definitely not have prompted me to scroll through the photos – which show a beautifully furnished, well-maintained, inviting home.
And did you notice what the ad said? It comes completely furnished! This would be a perfect home for anyone just starting out with no furniture.
She has a features list, not an ad...
My first broker gave me some advice which is just as true today as it was then: “Put the reader in the home.” This list of dry facts sure didn’t do it!
I gave the lady some suggestions, but don’t know if she’ll have any success in getting her agent to upgrade the text. Some agents are pretty touchy about anyone criticizing their ads – even if they’re pointing out errors such as the ones above.
But this gets worse.
I went to the agency website, because I wanted to see the agent's name - just to check to see if she happened to be here on Active Rain - and this listing isn’t even on their site.
Did it expire and the agent didn't ask for a re-list? The Trulia listing shows a price reduction about 6 weeks ago, so that doesn't seem likely.
I did find the agent's name on Trulia, and no, she isn't here. Then I filled out the "contact agent" form to ask for more information. Supposedly, the agent will contact me. I'm betting she won't.
I decided it wasn't my place, so I knotted my fingers together and didn’t tell that lady that she might need a new and better agent. But - it really looks as if she does.
What do you think? Should I tell her?