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Review of all things Real Estate: What will set your listing apart, part 2

Insist on professional photos and videos – consumers like to see lots of quality pictures and video. Studies have shown that listings without pictures get quickly passed over. Walk through video has become increasingly popular with consumers too, they want to learn as much as they can about a property before they request a showing.

If the property is rural or unusually large, then drone photos are warranted to show how the lot lays out and what’s surrounding the property. Again, the consumers want to learn as much as possible ahead of time, so it’s vital to keep their attention focused on your listing.

Ask your agent if the Multiple Listing Service that they are a member of has reciprocal listing agreements with other MLS systems. As an example the San Diego MLS system (Paragon) has reciprocal agreements with Riverside and Orange County MLS systems while the Combined Regional MLS system has agreements that reach approximately 85% of the state’s real estate agents.

Since we don’t know where the buyers (and buyer’s agents) are coming from, it’s imperative to reach as many places as possible. The CRMLS uses a platform called Matrix and it’s much more powerful in reaching power, so ask your agent if they use Matrix and CRMLS.

Pay a full commission to the agents, that will allow the listing agent to spend money on advertising and it will attract buyer agents to your listing. In some MLS systems, agents can search by commission level so it only stands to reason that if a full commission is paid, then buyer agents will search for those listings and send them to their buyer clients. It is not a super-hot seller’s market; houses are not selling themselves any longer. Strategies have to adapt to help your listing get noticed.

Open houses work! Yes, they can be inconvenient for the homeowner, but they do draw crowds. Sometimes we hear from visitors that they are just neighbors to which we say “wonderful!” Neighbors are an important source of buyer referrals to get the listing sold.

Advertising an open house in the MLS and via social media is a tremendous way to attract crowds. Pre-COVID, an average Fallbrook area open house had four groups of visitors. Two and a half weeks ago, my partner and I held an open house listed at $1,399,000 on a Saturday. We had 26 groups through the property and, at day’s end, we had one offer in hand; two more showed up later.

Last weekend, we held a $649,000 property open house and we had 18 groups through; we had two offers in hand by the next day. The common theme was we held them open on Saturdays; we advertised the open houses in the MLS and on social media; we used Facebook to target market areas in Orange County and San Diego proper and, per my last article, properly priced properties sell! Open houses work to set your listing apart and get it good exposure.

When a listing goes stale, the recourse is often a price reduction. Instead, I propose an interest rate buydown of the buyer’s interest rate paid by the seller. It sounds expensive but please review the numbers below (courtesy of Tico Title); it’s how to create a win-win scenario

For the buyer: the buyer can make a full price offer and use the seller's contribution to buy down their interest rates, resulting in a savings of $92 on their monthly payment and $77,209 in interest over the life of the loan because of the lower interest rate.

For the seller: by contributing $19,000 to buy down the buyer's interest rate, the seller now gets their full asking price and will net $13,550 more than if they were to lower their price by $35,000.

Here’s the math estimates based on 30 year term and 20% down payment, all numbers are estimates only:

Full price offer / $35k price reduction / Seller buy down

List price $800,000 $765,000 $800,000

Loan amount $640,000 $612,000 $640,000

Interest rate 5.25% 5.25% $4.5%

APR 5.367% 5.367% $4.611%

Total $$$ to close $181,195 $173,554 $180,998

Seller contribution $0.00 $0.00 $19,200

Monthly payment $4,553 $4,354 $4,262

Seller net at closing $743,812 $711,062 $724,612

Some of these suggestions might be unconventional thinking, but if it gets buyers to your door and your house sells while other properties are sitting because there was no effort made to ensure the property was ready to market, the property was overpriced and there were no incentives for buyers or agents, then it would be good to consider thinking outside the box to get the job done.

Food for thought for how to get your listing set apart from the rest.


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