Here we go again…
Home sellers, you need to review how your home is being presented in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and online.
One of our clients found a new listing today that may meet their needs.
This was the photo, the only photo I might add, in the MLS:
Looks to be taken with a cell phone through a car window, or a horribly dirty camera lens. Or something.
Nice recycling can too. Why not move it three feet to the left?
Which home for sale appeals to you more, the one pictured above, or this one:
Sure, the lawn is a little off, but this was taken in the summer, when it was 743 degrees outside for weeks on end. Rest assured, after a few days I brought out my lawn mower from HouseBait and cleaned this up. At least you can see the home…
The listing agent, who to their credit realizes the importance of photos in the MLS, left a remark there apologizing for the lack of photos, saying they were waiting on the seller to send more pictures.
Huh? Waiting on the seller to send you pictures?
Here is a thought… take some pictures yourself.
And if you don’t know how, which appears may well be true, hire someone to take photos.
In other words, do your job.
In addition to the lone horrible photo there were other transgressions in the MLS listing. Mostly minor annoyances like including some abbreviation in the private Realtor-to-Realtor remarks that neither my wife or I or the other two agents I asked have ever heard of, and the request to contact the co-listing agent for any questions on the listing.
Contacting the co-listing agent is certainly no big deal. But it would be helpful to have some info about said co-listing agent in order to contact them. You know, like maybe their phone number or an email address. Or even just a name so I could try hunt down some contact info. But nope, we got nothing–and I mean nothing–on the mystery co-lister.
The agent left instructions to contact the owner to set up a showing. Again, no big deal though the lack of a phone number makes doing that difficult…
Being the dutiful agent, I did what I could to set up a showing. Since the mystery co-lister was nowhere to be found, and there was no number to contact the owner, I called the primary lister. They are a Designated Broker / Owner who has been licensed for over 22 years so I figured if nothing else they could give me the co-listers phone number.
I’m still waiting on a return call. It’s only been five hours though. Maybe they are just busy…
Home Sellers Check Your Listing!
No, you shouldn’t have to check up on your agent and make sure they are doing their job. But do it anyway. There are far too many listings like this in the MLS. If you don’t believe that, take a look at DuhAgent.com, my new favorite site that displays some remarkable (in the bad way) home sale photos and assorted mishaps.
Ask your agent to see exactly what they have loaded into the MLS. Ask to see both the public version and the “Realtor only” version (which includes non-public info like showing instructions, gate codes, client info — stuff the public doesn’t need to see). Make sure the photos of your home are well produced — large, well focused and exposed — and display your home in the best possible manner. If your agent uses acronyms in the home description or private remarks, be sure they make sense. Double check their contact info. Double check for info that isn’t there but needs to be.
Better yet, when you are interviewing agents to list your home for sale ask for examples of their previous listings marketing material andMLS entries. (And you ARE interviewing multiple agents aren’t you? Even if you’d like to help out the neighbor of your wife’s second cousin twice removed who is an agent, or your favorite coffee barista / real estate agent, please interview more than one agent. Please.) Think about what you would like to see if you were looking for homes and if you agent isn’t doing that, find anther agent.
There is absolutely no excuse for listings to have photos like this or be missing critical information. None. But it happens. A lot. Prepare and protect yourself if you are a home seller. Home sellers are Going Here to look for reliable home buyers.