Tuesday, December 3, 2013

When One Picture Destroys A Thousand Words

Those who wonder why I am now putting the finishing touches on an entire book about the right way to sell a home should take a look at the ad I randomly found for a townhome in Seattle.

It is another example of "what NOT to do", as advertised by an agent with a nationally known real estate company in the Seattle Times and on its web site.

The primary photo that shows is "1 of 10" photos, but is the only photo that shows up, and provides the all-important first impression. However, the only reason I looked at the other nine photos was because I knew this needs to be presented here.

The "first impression" photo is deadly. It shows a car parked in the driveway in front of one of three garage doors. First of all, it is NOT good practice to show a parked car on a property in a public forum, for security reasons among others. In this context, it makes a viewer wonder if there is room enough to park a car inside the garage.

Furthermore, the first two words of the primary description copy are "Modern townhome". Since the primary photo shows three garage doors (not to mention the car parked outside of one of them), a viewer is immediately confused as to whether the building shown is all ONE unit or if the townhome for sale is one unit within that building. Frankly, after reading the entire ad, I still don't know.

In addition, the description includes some confusing terminology. The first sentence is "Modern townhome with creative spaces and fantastic finishes". Huh?

The next sentence starts with "Enjoy radiant concrete flooring". So help me. Makes me wonder if the furniture is located behind the garage doors and that is why the car in the photo is parked outside. How many homes are you aware of with "concrete flooring" as a selling point?

A later sentence tells us that "The kitchen is a 'work horse' and features a gas range". Are you ready to offer the $295,000 asking price yet?

At the end of the description copy we are informed that this ad was "Updated: 10-02-13". The day I discovered this ad was 12-03-13, more than two months later. This means that nothing about this ad, or the asking price, has changed in more than two months.

Why is this so aggravating? Because I then clicked to see the remaining photos. And most of them are quite impressive.

That is why it is so important to have the primary photo enhance the description copy, and vice versa. A potential buyer is not given ANY solid reason to click to see more. Especially not with 29 other listings which came up within the same area and price range I had entered.

Had one of the good interior photos been used and the description copy been written more realistically, chances are pretty good this townhome would have been sold by now.


1 comment:

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