This week while searching through the MLS for listings for one of my Northern Virginia homebuyer’s I was once again struck by what you find in MLS listings. I’m not talking about great prices on homes throughout the region but about how agents are marketing their client’s properties.
Let’s start with directions in the MLS. The field is self-explanatory. How do we find your house? Apparently the listing agent doesn’t know how to get there so they fill in the field with “Google address”, “use map quest”, or “use your GPS.” Really they can’t take 30 seconds to fill in the field?
Then there are the bathroom photos. Sometimes less is more. If the bathroom is small then a photo of the toilet with the lid up is likely only to get an EWWW from a prospective buyer. Oh and the photo of your agent taking a photo of the bathroom, guess they forgot about the mirror, isn’t a winner either.
Fuzzy, dark photos of indistinguishable rooms don’t help with on-line marketing. If an agent can upload photos to their computer then they should be able to take a few minutes with one of the many free photo editing software programs to lighten the photo so a buyer can see what is in them instead of a black hole.
Unfortunately we don’t always have much room to make a flowery description in the MLS. However reading “hardwood floors throughout the whore house” or “pantless approval process” might bring a giggle, but probably doesn’t bring buyers to your door.
But the clincher for me this week was finding a listing with a photo of a young girl (pre-teen) lying on her bed playing a video game. I can’t imagine what the photo of this young girl portrays and as a parent do you want photos of your children on the MLS with your address clearly attached to the photo? Just asking?
If your home is on the market in Northern Virginia ask the agent for a link to your listing on the MLS. Remember that the MLS listing is what gets sent out to all of the other listing sites across the nation (and world.) If you are thinking about selling your home in the near future ask the agents you are interviewing to bring you a copy of their recent MLS listings and photos. Remember 90% of buyers start their search on the internet and your MLS listing is the first thing they will see.