A great listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) has the potential to attract more buyers and higher bids. But the opposite is true, too. A lackluster listing can make it harder to sell a home—plus, it can reflect poorly on you as an agent.
Fortunately, a few tweaks can mean the difference between a mediocre MLS listing and a great one. Let’s explore five strategic ways to improve your listing and generate more buyer interest.
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1. Include a Floor Plan
Adding floor plans can also shorten a property’s time on the market by as much as 50%.
Your floor plan can be either two-dimensional or three-dimensional. Two-dimensional plans give buyers a simple bird’s eye view of the home’s layout. They also can attract more attention since they stand out from other photos.
On the other hand, three-dimensional floor plans can be much more engaging for buyers. These plans have more color and detail, often providing a clearer picture of the inside of the home.
You can hire a designer to create floor plans for your listing. Or, if you prefer a DIY approach, there are several online apps you can use.
💡Pro Tip: Some buyers prefer not to share their home’s layout publicly, so be sure to get permission from your client before adding their floor plans to the listing.
2. Invest in Professional Photography
The quality of your photos can determine whether someone clicks on your MLS listing or not. A 2014 study found that listings with professional images sold 32% faster. As buyers increasingly rely on the internet to find homes, high-quality photos are even more critical.
Research also shows that listings with aerial photos are 68% more likely to sell, as they give buyers a more comprehensive view of the property. So, consider hiring a photographer who uses drones for a significant competitive advantage.
You can use aerial photos to highlight:
- The property’s boundary lines
- Scenic views around the home
- The neighborhood
- Nearby amenities
- The roof, pool, or driveway
- Nearby walkways and roads
Professional real estate photography can cost $150 to $350 per hour, depending on your location and the photographer’s experience. If possible, research several photographers in your area and compare prices to find the right fit.
3. Put Photos in Order and Label the Rooms
When browsing dozens of photos in a row, it's easy to confuse rooms. You can avoid this confusion with a couple of simple organization techniques.
Be strategic about the order of the photos: Some agents recommend leading with the most unique and attractive photo—perhaps of the home’s spotless curb appeal, picturesque living room, or spacious primary suite. You can also order the photos according to how people might walk through the house.
Label each room: This is especially important if you have multiple photos of the same room. Buyers appreciate the immediate context when looking at photos of rooms like the primary bedroom, the downstairs bathroom, or the back porch. Labeling photos also makes it easier for buyers to visualize the home and its layout.
4. Optimize Your Description
Your photos may capture buyers’ attention, but your description can help seal the deal. Consider using the tips below to help you write a stellar description.
Use creative, attention-grabbing words.
|Try to engage buyers’ senses and imagination with words like:
Important: When writing property descriptions, avoid using language that excludes certain buyers and ensure your descriptions follow fair housing practices (e.g., quiet/safe neighborhood, walking distance, master suite, family room, man cave, etc.). Some MLSs will flag descriptions for terms or phrases they feel violate best practices.
Tap into aspirations. Paint a picture for buyers to help them envision themselves building a life in the home.
Example: Enjoy a relaxing evening with loved ones by the newly renovated stone fireplace.
Highlight unique features of the home. It could be a stunning view, a brick driveway, a colorful garden, a cathedral wood ceiling, or a walk-in closet—anything that makes the property stand out.
Keep it accurate. You don’t want buyers to feel cheated when they view the property. Double-check your listing’s descriptions and measurements to make sure they’re correct.
5. Avoid Pricing With Odd Numbers
You’ve likely seen products priced at an odd number like $9.99 or $59.97. There’s a reason for that. The specificity of the number often leads buyers to think the price is honest and a better value.
But this doesn’t work with real estate. MLS listings with large odd numbers like $599,997 can appear confusing at best and gimmicky at worst.
Instead, it’s better to use whole, rounded numbers when pricing homes as it provides more clarity and can help you reach more buyers.
For example: if you price a home at $400,000—instead of $399,000 or $401,000—you can reach people looking for homes up to $400,000 and people searching within a range starting at $400,000.
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