Thursday, February 4, 2016

Why Homes For Sale Ads Need To Be Updated More Often


It is no secret that the majority of real estate professionals embrace the new technology. However, there still needs to be plenty of change when it comes to adapting the new technology to how properties are marketed.

 

As you know, parts of the east coast, especially the Washington D.C./Baltimore region, was socked with a severe snowstorm less than two weeks ago. Those of us who have experienced a significant snowstorm know that some communities are able to dig out more quickly and/or become more functional faster than others when this happens.

 

Chances are that you have an opinion, one way or the other, on how your community handles recovering from a major storm or weather event.

 

If you are happy with how it is handled surrounding your home, and are looking to sell, this is something worth pointing out to potential buyers. At least it should be.

 

Those of you who have been reading this column over the past seven years know that I have often done a search days after a major weather event in order to see how many property advertisements have been updated to show any “positive” results.

 

With this in mind, this afternoon I did a specific price range search, using Homes.com, for the Washington D.C. suburb of College Park MD, one of the hardest hit areas of the recent major snow storm.

 

I wanted to see for myself, nearly two weeks later, how many of the property ads were updated, or even just added, since the big storm.

 

My search turned up 23 homes currently available and which had addresses and a primary photo within the advertisement.

 

Of those 23, I then counted how many of those primary photos had snow in them. The total number that did: ZERO.

 

Instead, we see these homes with their lawns in full glory. Of course, this is far from what the outsides of these homes look like this afternoon!

 

Perhaps I’m being harsh, but I happen to not think so. If even a few of these ads had snow in the photos, I would have an idea that people are able to navigate through College Park without a problem and that the storm recovery is going smoothly.


Instead, my impression is that not one agent or seller wants anyone outside of the area to see how bad conditions still are in that area. Sure, that may be an unrealistic assessment.

 

However, it is far from unrealistic to expect that nobody cares enough to update so much as a photo. We are past the days when you would have to get a photo in to the local paper four days ahead of time and it simply “isn’t ready” yet.

 

Remember, the “instant” technology exists. I have personally driven and taken a couple of new photos of a marketing client’s listing, driven back to my office, and updated ads online within one hour’s time. As helpful as I can be, doing that is not a unique talent. Especially when I’m not even a realty agent!

 

I’ll take this one step further. One of the properties I found is this one:

 

 


This is a supposed “motivated seller” featuring an empty house that shows nothing but a green lawn outside. These photos are MONTHS behind. How motivated is that seller and his/her agent?

 

While it is true that Homes.com often does not update as much as other sites which advertise properties do, believe me when I tell you that you will find the same thing happening all over if you search the areas impacted by the recent storm.

 

Photos of properties for sale should be updated as often as possible to reflect current conditions. Let’s take advantage of this technology.

 

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