Once your home is ready to go online as a property listing, your agent will have to develop it. There is an art as well as a science in putting together listings to go online. The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is the portal/database agents use to market and advertise your listing to other agents and potential buyers. Each MLS has strict guidelines on how the listing is created with limits such as the number of characters you use to describe the property in detail. In order to make your listing stand out, the agent will utilize some tricks. Here are three of them.
Good Pictures Matter -Today, most people find their homes online. They will evaluate a home comprehensively through the MLS listing before deciding to go look at the home in person. For this reason, your agent will make sure the photographs taken of your property are stellar and show its strengths. Some agents will have their photographer use tricks to make the property look better like wide angle lens shots and special lighting. However, these tricks can be easily seen online by the buyers today who have gotten very savvy in their abilities to recognize modified photographs in property listings. It is perfectly fine to utilize good photographer tricks for the pictures, but be forewarned that most people will see through them.
Description needs to highlight strengths – As indicated before, all MLS systems require a particular character length for parts of the property listing, and it is only 3000 characters for the actual description. Agents have to get creative in this section without outright lying. Descriptive languages have to be used lightly as people translate words like beautiful, spectacular, remarkable, etc in their own way. One beautiful kitchen for the agent could be downright ugly to a buyer. With this in mind, agents are always careful to keep the descriptions only to the facts about the property without putting too much subjective language in it. At the same time, the agent will need to write a description that attracts the reader to the property. Agents will rely on factual descriptions of the property strengths.
Attachments should be there – Agents will most likely ask you to sign some additional paperwork beyond that of the listing contract. These documents are then uploaded to the MLS and presented as attachments in the property listing. Some example of documents you might have to sign include a Seller’s Dislcosure notice, a lead-based paint form (for properties a certain age), mineral rights form and a form specifying that survey is accurate to the best of the seller’s knowledge (called the T-47 form). Why is this so important? Full disclosure is so very important with listings and each of the extra forms disclose something else about the property. If these attachments are not provided, the buyer’s agent will probably be suspicious of the reasons and caution the buyers to be watchful of the property during the option period. If you have nothing to hide, you should go ahead and do the work to get the documents online.