If a Listing Agent Isn't Willing To...

By
Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA VA License # 0225089470
https://activerain.com/droplet/5m6S

If a Listing Agent Isn't Willing To...

 

Let's talk marketing.  It is the single most important element to getting the absolute highest price and best terms for a seller.  As a Top Bristow Listing Agent, the first step to great marketing is having an honest conversation with my sellers about listing preparation.  In most cases, it doesn't take too much elbow grease to polish a home for market.  Decluttering, cleaning and touch ups are essential to setting the stage for listing success.  Of course, not all listing agents are ready to "tell it like it is" and get the importance of listing prep across to sellers.  Then again, maybe there are agents that just don't understand the importance themselves.  The thing about a seller's market is that even crappy marketing goes under contract rather quickly.

Next, it's my job to help you arrange your furnishings in a way that shows the optimal use of your floor plan.  Or, if a home is vacant, do some light staging to warm up the master bedroom, kitchen, and bathrooms at a minimum.  THEN, it's time for professional photography.

Do you know how many little nit picky items I have manipulated at a photo shoot to make sure my listings are showing their best face online?  Eletrical cords, wrinkled bed spreads, kitchen counter clutter, refrigerator magnets.  You get the idea.  Come photo day, fluffing is a must.  And this is what brings me to my biggest nit pick of all time...

 

Why aren't more listing agents willing to pop a cover off a working hot tub and sell the sizzle?  Show the water and bubbles.  It's certainly more appealing than a brown hot tub cover that has a layer of outdoor filth on it.

 

If a listing agent isn't willing to go to the very minimal effort of taking off a hot tub cover for a photo shoot, what other marketing short cut are they willing to take?  How much is that going to cost you?   

 

I still remember when I took a listing that had been on the market for two and a half months with a previous listing agent.  The listing photos were never updated to reflect the springing to life of the grass, flowers and so forth since the change of seasons happened during the listing period.  The photos were so drab, I knew immediately I could do better. 

At the time, I was doing my own listing photography.  This particular listing had a hot tub cabana.  Above is the the shot the former agent had taken.  Below is the staged/cover off photo.  The difference is obvious.  Those sellers went under contract in a week after listing with me.  They had also done a lot of the listing prep the other agent didn't tell them to do.  It paid off.

 

 

So maybe a question sellers should ask is, "How do you market a hot tub?"  Even if the seller asking the question doesn't have one, the asnwer the agent gives you says a lot.  Do they mention it in the listing or go the whole nine yards and sell the sizzle?  You'll notice in my listing photos, you don't even see the folded cover in the background.  It is well out of the photo.

Know you are getting the best marketing when you hire to sell your home.  I take pride in making sure my listings are a notch above the competition.  THAT is what gets you under contract quicker and for better terms.

 

 

 

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Barbara Todaro 01/26/2020 04:13 AM
  2. Kris Collis, Associate Broker 01/28/2020 12:40 PM
Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Art of Professional Salesmanship
ActiveRain Rockstars
Bananatude
Bartender, Make it a Double
Old Farts Club

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Rainmaker
3,937,407
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Chris Ann Cleland ,

Yes a listing agent needs to be proficient in marketing! Its all in the details and the eye buys every time! Glad to see your post featured in Kathy Streib's "Ah-Ha" series for the week!

Jan 27, 2020 06:20 AM #27
Rainmaker
2,178,301
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Well done Chris Ann!

Congrats on the well deserved feature!

You hit the nail right on the head. The hot tub pics make your case perfectly.

This is a perfect example of the power of preparation...staging!

For those agents who are not as good at this as you are: find a home stager to handle the preparation and presentation for you! No better investment than staging and professional photography!

Jan 27, 2020 07:16 AM #28
Rainmaker
1,126,341
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

What an extreme difference those two photos are! I was thinking that with our long winters I wouldn't be able to pull that off - but then I thought, why not? A hot bubbling spa surrounded by snow would certainly be unique.

Jan 27, 2020 09:04 AM #29
Rainmaker
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Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Brillian! Congratulations on the FEATURE!

Jan 27, 2020 09:06 AM #30
Rainmaker
63,023
Cathy Baumbusch
RE/MAX Executives - Alexandria, VA
REAL Value, no Bull$#%T!

Yes. Conventional wisdom tells us that homes with pools/hottubs take longer to sell. With a house like this, you're selling a lifestyle. Any professional photographer and/or worth his/her salt would also know to do this. We have to prep our clients for the photo shoot too. Great post.

Jan 27, 2020 09:37 AM #31
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MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Great point! Why aren't more listing agents willing to pop a cover off a working hot tub and sell the sizzle?  Show the water and bubbles.  It's certainly more appealing than a brown hot tub cover that has a layer of outdoor filth on it.

Jan 27, 2020 02:11 PM #32
Rainmaker
531,001
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

It makes a difference when you go the extra mile!  It is what makes every agent different as demonstrated by your ability to sell this listing after the first agent failed to do so.  Great job on the photos!

Jan 27, 2020 02:39 PM #33
Rainer
188,004
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I recently saw a listing that had two sets of photos. One was staged and the other set showed a vacant home. It was neat to see the difference in the photos and the staged ones were definitely the better of the two. Photos need to POP!

Jan 27, 2020 06:27 PM #34
Rainmaker
486,914
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Well said Chris Ann! I showed a listing this past week where the pics did not do the listing justice! The buyers didn't want to look at it! I dragged them kicking and screaming! They loved it! The pics were not bad, the home just doesn't lend itself to good pics! 

Jan 27, 2020 07:43 PM #35
Rainmaker
1,608,754
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Phooey - my fantastic Hughes Net only brought in the top sliver of your photo - so I used my imagination.

You made me wish I'd make the effort to have my hot tub repaired - would feel good on a chilly, drizzly night like tonight.

Jan 27, 2020 08:35 PM #36
Rainmaker
773,158
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

When a listing agent isn't willing to put the toilet seat down! That is one of mine Chris Ann. When I see bathroom pictures prominently featuring the inside of a toilet, I want to cry. I don't know if it's laziness or carelessness or not having any aesthetic values, but none have a place in Real Estate marketing. 

Sometimes it's not (just) the price that is off but the marketing! Outdated or bad pictures don't sell houses. Your hot tub example certainly proves that!

Jan 28, 2020 07:23 AM #37
Rainer
291,984
Stephen Turner
Burkentine Realty Group (Burkentien Builders) - York, PA
The BIG Guy of NEW HOME SALES

The little things do add up. (I must confess I'll make sure to show hot tubs uncovered from now on!) Thanks for the tips and more importantly, sharing with us!

Jan 28, 2020 07:46 AM #38
Rainmaker
618,535
Gwen Fowler-864-916-2019 SC Mountains Lakes Homes
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Salem, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

It is the little things that make an impact. Love the simple, yet effective, way you marketed the hot tub.

Jan 28, 2020 08:10 AM #39
Rainmaker
201,808
Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643

Open toilet seats are the worst. Or a trash container that "should" be empty and clean. As they say, The Devil is in the details!

Jan 28, 2020 10:05 AM #40
Rainmaker
110,966
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 702-574-8102

Beautifully written and presented Chris Ann.  Your climate is a little milder than for us in the North, not as much time here to sell that sizzle in the hot tub.  We often see indoor hot tubs for year round use vs. 1 1/2 seasons use for out door tubs.

Jan 28, 2020 12:46 PM #41
Rainmaker
1,560,334
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Great point!  I like the before and after pictures and can see that it makes a huge difference.

Jan 29, 2020 01:53 AM #42
Rainer
10,697
Kurt Uhlir
Showcase IDX - Roswell, GA
Real Estate Marketing Coach & Speaker

Growth comes from niches and the details. Absolutely love your example of opening the hot tub cover, and the pictures show the result. There are so many details like that for a listing and good marketing.

Jan 29, 2020 12:51 PM #43
Rainer
20,826
John willson
LINESGRAPH - Las Vegas, NV
2D, 3D Floor Plan Rendering & Drafting Services

The staging and the toilet issues, I have been doing floor plan conversion and image editing for Real Estate photographers for over a Decade now and even now at times i get pictures from my Photgraphers saying that they had no wish to take the picture of the toilet but they had no choice and we virtually declutter, clean and retouch the images. Times i feel so bad for my Photographer clients as they have to capture that image and share for staging.

Jan 29, 2020 09:33 PM #44
Rainmaker
1,011,729
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Excellent job Chris Ann!  You have an eye for selling that's for sure!

Feb 06, 2020 03:39 PM #45
Rainmaker
543,605
Karen Rice
Davis R. Chant, REALTORS - Hawley, PA
Northeast PA & Lake Wallenpaupack Home Sales

I hate when agents can't be bothered to do simple things like a quick counter tidy, moving baskets of laundry out of the shot (or pets!!! or PEOPLE!!!) etc.  Come on - you call yourself a professional?  UGH! One of my biggest peeves in the business! LOL

Feb 10, 2020 08:39 AM #46
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