Sunday, August 30, 2009

Listing of the Day - Aug. 30, 2009

For more than 20 years, I have worked with realty agents and mortgage lenders regarding a variety of marketing and advertising matters, including writing literally thousands of individual property descriptions. In an effort to improve the impact of the marketing of listings, I randomly choose current listings around the country in a variety of price ranges and comment on their effectiveness. No current clients of mine are used, nor do I know any sellers or buyers or have any additional information about the property.

168 Ransom Rd., Walla Walla WA 3 + 2.25 $180,000

Frankly, the way this listing is presented is a perfect example of the need for this blog and marketing services specific to realty companies such as ours.

The copy begins by pointing out how this 3 bedroom home is authorized for a short sale. (And I’m not even going to address that the web page shows the property has been listed for more than 6 months.) Yet, each exterior photo, including the primary one, shows trees with few leaves and the lawn in poor shape. I first saw this listing in late August, yet the first photo I see from this “motivated seller” appears to be from no later than February.

Within the first paragraph of the description, there is a reference to the “generous views of the blue mountains”. Yet, the featured photo does not have any mountains in the background. Upon looking at all 7 photos shown by clicking through, I didn’t see so much as a single mountain or any such view.

Although I understand the intent of mentioning the “three stall shop”, this could be a limitation rather than an encouragement within this description. The “do it yourself” home owner or family that wants a workspace will be drawn to this. However, those who are not of that mindset finish reading that wondering if they would be paying thousands of dollars for a room or area that would not be of much use. Could this be used for or converted to an office, rec room, storage room, or guest room? Potential buyers want possibilities instead of possible limitations.

Meanwhile, this photo spread does little to nothing to enhance the property, in addition to failing to display any “mountain” views. As much as I preach about using interior photos more often and more prominently, the use of interior photos here backfires because the home is empty.

When looking at photos of an empty home, a potential buyer has no idea how furniture would appear, how much space there really is, or the true size of the room. A 3-bedroom home indicates a family living space and not a series of empty rooms. Showing an empty bedroom with a large window without curtains or any window coverings also poses a security threat. The months old photos of an empty home is the setting for a “squatters scam” in some parts of the country.

Although the description does point out the home’s proximity to Prospect Point School, potential buyers should be told whether this is an elementary or high school. Some families have toddlers while others have children of high school age, but one or both might be missing out on an ideal fit because of the lack of detail.

One other point about this and many listings from smaller or even medium sized towns, especially where properties are on the market for longer periods. This listing has no information about the community, other than the mention of a school. Chances are the buyer of this home will come from out of area. (If not, it would have happened by now.) And chances are this buyer also needs to be “sold” on advantages of moving to Walla Walla.

If this is a “fixer” and would appeal to an investor or builder, then the description should include one or more reasons why they should invest in this community.

There are both higher and lower priced 3 bedroom properties in the area, based on the search column on the right at the time of this review. Yet, potential buyers are not given enough reasons to make this the most attractive property. Again, chances are the buyer will come from out of the area. Why stop at this home?

Listing Grade: D

Note: This commentary is uncompensated and for marketing purposes only and is no reflection on the featured property and is its accuracy is not guaranteed. Neither Dave Kohl nor First In Promotions shall be held responsible for any representations.

At this time, I have openings for more realty agent/office clients to critique current and brand new listings on an hourly basis. No current or past client listings are featured on this blog.Random listings are chosen around the country.

Your comments are most welcome!

Please check back often for more "Listing of the Day" critiques.

1 comment:

CoachingByPeter said...

Many may not perceived it but it is actually the best time to purchase a new home because of the advantages it offers such as lower price, lower interest rates, tax savings, more choices etc. So instead of wasting money in renting a place, buying something that can be an equity is far more better option.