There’s more to listing descriptions than granite countertops

    Bathrooms and kitchens. Anyone who has been listing real estate for more than a minute is aware that these two rooms dominate the consciousness of every homebuyer. Or, so we’ve been led to believe.

    Sadly, the adherence to the perceived need to sell these two rooms leaves the rest of the house feeling like the neglected stepchild.

    Nobody expects your listing descriptions to read like they came from the fingertips of the world’s greatest copywriter.

    What buyers do expect, and seldom get, is value for the time they spend reading them. That value remains undelivered when important information is left out. And the good news is that the information doesn’t need to eat up your valuable MLS word count if you can convey it with photos.

    The Neighborhood Update postcard is available under the Postcard section.

    We’ve noticed that there are three areas of a home in particular that agents tend to ignore. Three areas, we assure you, buyers want to know about.

    1. The Backyard

    Why does a homebuyer prefer a single-family residence over a condo?

    There are several reasons, as you know, and chief among them is the backyard. Even a tiny backyard is better than a condo’s lanai. If the buyer entertains a lot, loves to tinker in the garden or has kids/pets that crave the outdoors, a condo won’t work.

    For the past few years, outdoor living spaces have been in-demand with homebuyers. Last year, however, became the year of the patio, at least according to studies by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

    More than 80 percent of homebuyers surveyed said that a patio in their new home is a must.

    How often are patios staged? More important, how often do you see patios featured in listing descriptions?

    Convince your listing clients to stage the patio. Then, ditch two or three of the 500 kitchen photos you’d planned on posting and use patio photos in their place on your next listing description.

    Get patio staging tips at Pinterest.com.

    The Free Local Market Statistics postcard is available under the Call to Action Series in the Postcard section.

    We’re willing to bet your efforts will build traffic through the listing – especially if you also highlight the rest of the areas of the home most listing agents neglect.

    1. The Garage

    We’re going out on a limb here to guess that the reason listing photos don’t include any of the home’s garages is because most garages we’ve seen are akin to the kitchen junk drawer, but on a larger scale.

    It’s going to take a lot of convincing to get your clients to clean out the garage. Maybe if you let them know that nearly 90 percent of homebuyers say that garage storage is essential, they’ll act.

    In other words, there’s a real good chance that if your clients’ homes don’t clearly show potential buyers how much storage space there is in the garage, they’ll find a home that does.

    Decluttering is a good first step, but staging the garage will wow potential buyers. If your clients already have storage solutions built in, use them in the staging. Otherwise, convince them to buy racks, shelves and ceiling storage units.

    Online ideas abound, but nobody does it better than Pinterest.com.

    Your listing’s garage is so much more than home to two or three cars – so prove it to garage-hungry buyers.

    1. The Laundry Room

    It’s a rare agent’s remarks space that includes mention of a laundry room. Typically, one needs to look beyond the listing description into the features section where you will or won’t find an “X” in the box next to “Laundry Room.”

    When one considers that the number one feature that most homebuyers claim is essential in their new home is a laundry room, according to the NAHB survey, neglecting to play up the feature is nuts.

    By the way, nearly three quarters of repeat buyers say that a laundry room is more important to them than a living room.

    A lot of this desire has to do with the storage a laundry room provides – at least enough room to stack folded laundry and stow dirty stuff.

    Even the smallest room, however, will please would-be homeowners. If your client’s budget allows for the addition of a laundry room, suggest a basement remodel.

    Paul Sullivan, president of a Massachusetts remodeling firm explains to the editors at Kiplinger.com that since the “utility lines are already there” and the addition most likely won’t involve demolition, the cost can run as low as $1,000.

    The Neighborhood Update postcard is available under the Postcard section.

    Make 2020 the year your listing descriptions and photos show buyers the features they’re truly interested in.

    Send the Neighborhood Update postcard from the Neighborhood Update Series to an area where you want more listings.

    Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

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    Lisa Gray
    Lisa is an accomplished marketer with years of expertise in direct response marketing, digital marketing, data analytics and business development working with both B2C and B2B.