Here at The Keadle Group, we’ve written extensively on how sellers can get their home ready for showings, why homes don’t sell, and how to choose the right contract in a multiple offer situation among other seller topics. However, all of these situations occur after the home has already been on the market for a while – or after it’s received offers. In this article, we’d like to focus on the very first week (or two or three) of a new listing. From day one, how can a seller get more showings on her home? Showings are partly a numbers’ game because in most cases it takes ten or more showings to result in an offer. Sure, we’ve had as few as one showing before that lead to a full priced offer (and a speedy closing), but most sellers have multiple showings before taking their home off the market. If you’re trying to boost your scheduled showing appointments, follow these tips!
Make Sure Your MLS Report is Appealing
Although your Realtor is responsible for creating your MLS report, it’s a good idea for sellers to look over the listing, too. It never hurts to put another set of eyes on an MLS report. Different agents have different strategies when it comes to marketing, so know that styles and marketing methods vary. For example, our MLS in Charleston only shows the first 800 characters (including spaces) of the remarks section. Any words after this point have to be manually pulled up in a separate window. One of our strategies is to fit in as many selling points as possible before this 800 character mark because we don’t buyers to lose interest and scroll down to the next listing.
When you look over your MLS listing, pay attention to accuracy, typos and grammatical mistakes, neighborhood amenities, and selling points of your home or area. For example, if you recently installed a new and highly efficient HVAC, be sure your report mentions this. That’s a great selling feature. Other selling points include a new roof, tankless water heater, low (or no required) flood insurance, good public schools, granite or quartz counter tops, wood floors, high ceilings, and a private backyard that backs up to a wooded buffer.
Having professional listing photos and a virtual tour are also “must haves” because these listings look more polished and almost always get more showings. If your MLS allows for remarks to show up alongside your photos, these should always be included. I’m amazed at how many Realtors don’t take the time to put in photo remarks. A lot of buyers go directly to the photos without reading through the full remark section, so leaving these photos blank is a missed opportunity in my opinion.
Curb Appeal Matters
Many buyers drive by a new listing before contacting their agent for a showing appointment. This drive by allows them to check out the neighbors, the community, and the reality of the home itself. This is a great opportunity for sellers to make a good first impression. Make sure your yard looks its best by keeping the grass mowed, shrubbery trimmed, and sidewalks edged. If it’s the fall or winter, you’ll want to blow and bag leaves. If it’s the spring or summer, plant low maintenance flowers to provide a pop of color to your beds or planters. Make sure the numbers indicating your address are clearly visible because drivers by will use your address to make sure they’re seeing right home. Mailboxes are also often overlooked by sellers. If your mailbox post needs to be cleaned or repainted, know that these details go a long way when it comes to buyers’ first impressions.
Make Showing Appointments Easy for Buyers and Their Realtors
Occasionally I see a new listing that hits the market, and the sellers won’t allow showings for a week or two. The initial excitement and eagerness is so important to capture with home buyers. In today’s fast paced market, buyers understand that they need to see and make an offer promptly on a new listing before it goes under contract.
So, sellers need to make their home show-ready starting on day one. They also should try to accommodate buyers on quick turn arounds. For example, when sellers require 24 hour notice for showing, they miss out on same day appointments. Let’s say that an out of town buyer is only in Charleston for a weekend to look at homes. He views homes with his Realtor on a Saturday afternoon (the most popular showing time) and notices a listing (YOUR listing) as they’re driving around. His Realtor calls to make an appointment but is told that he can’t confirm a time until Sunday afternoon – and by that time, the buyer will already be on his way home. What a lost opportunity!
Let’s talk about reasonable restrictions for showings. When sellers need an hour or two notice to get their dogs out of the home, or when they need to block off their kid’s nap time every day to restrict showings, this is a perfectly reasonable exception. Most buyers understand that sellers can’t make their home available 24 hours a day. However, in general know that the easier your home is to schedule an appointment, the more showings you’ll get.
Considering Selling Your Home in Charleston, SC?
Contact The Keadle Real Estate Group! As one of the top selling real estate teams in Charleston, we would love to talk with you about listing your home. We can schedule a time to meet with you and see your home in person so that we can determine what your home should sell for in the current market. The Keadle Group loves working with sellers, and we’ll work hard to get the highest possible price for your home!