Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Buffalo Still Lost In The Shuffle

Here we are in "spring market" and with May almost here we are closing in on six months since the severe snow storm which crippled the Buffalo area in November. The temperature in Buffalo at press time was 51 degrees.

Time to follow up and see how the local real estate market is presenting itself. I went on through the Buffalo News web site, chose a price range of "homes for sale", waiting to see how 'with it' the agents are in terms of promoting available properties.

If only my findings were anywhere near what I hoped for. Or, if I was a seller in the Buffalo area, what I would expect. Instead, the advertising is still as much of a disaster as the snow storms.

The first ten properties came up. As usual, the primary photo is the first impression. On April 29th, TWO listings showed primary photos with snow on the ground. The one at 11 Cedarbrook Drive in 
Lancaster, New York showed a huge pile of snow engulfing the home. On April 29th??

Three other properties (in just this one price range!) had either no photo at all or a generic one which had nothing to do with the properties they represent. Total those up, and my random search starting at $225,000 for 2+ bedrooms came up with HALF of the first web page of properties starting with a bad impression.

Just as I pointed out the same week after the big storm hit, the technology is in place to be able to update photos and property information with regard to weather and other factors which impact the potential sale of homes. Those homes on streets which were plowed and/or had easy access to grocery stores and other necessities should have had updated information to demonstrate that to potential buyers that very week.

However, seeing this poor representation literally months later for the same area has no excuse. Those ten listings I looked at are from a variety of local realty offices and agents. Even the "good" ads for homes for sale get tarnished when a potential buyer sees snow covered lawns and careless generic photos for a first impression.

What makes this even more insane is that the Cedarbrook Drive property is shown with "PRICE REDUCTION" as the headline. So let's get this straight. The home with a primary photo (at the end of April) showing it surrounded by piles of snow and with "Large front porch perfect for warm weather relaxation" in the description copy hasn't sold at a higher price.

Because of this, that seller is "forced" to accept less money?

This listing is just one example out of thousands where poor advertising and marketing is the culprit. However, it is not just this seller that loses out. Thousands of other home owners lose out because of crap like this.

If and as the Cedarbrook Drive home sells for less money, it will serve to lower the value of nearby homes, and so goes the cycle. Long time home owners then lose out on money they should be entitled to because some agents don't bother keeping their listing advertisements up to date.

Something needs to be done about this.

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