Upperco MD Exterior real estate photo

Transparency and Real Estate Sales

Yesterday I had an interesting (and thought provoking) conversation with one of my clients about transparency in real estate marketing and how it can affect home sales.  I had recently photographed a listing for her and she took the time to provide me with some of the backstory…

Her clients (the sellers) had purchased the home just a few months prior to deciding to sell it as they missed their old community.  The agent explained that her clients had searched for some time in order to find the “perfect home” for the next step of their journey.  At the time of their search, this home had been on the market for approximately 4 months.  There was only one photo provided – that of the exterior.  The agent said that they all expected the interior to be in dire need of repairs and poor condition.  They were all shocked when they toured the entire property as it was not at all what they had expected – instead the home had been meticulously maintained and needed very few things done to match their particular tastes.  They excitedly purchased it and moved in quickly.

Several months later they concluded that, unfortunately, they were not as happy in their new location as they had anticipated.  There was nothing wrong with the home, the neighborhood, or the community.  They simply didn’t feel as “connected” as they had in their previous home.  So the decision was made to sell the property and try to find another home closer to their old community.

My client secured the listing and requested photography services.  A total of 30 photos were provided, both inside and out, as well as a virtual tour of the property.  The photos and tour were uploaded to MRIS, Realtor.com, YouTube, numerous social media sites and additional real estate sites.  The home sold within 7 days of hitting the market.

The agent shared that she had had a conversation at some point with the previous listing agent about the lack of photos which were previously provided with the listing.  The previous agent asked why anyone would go look at a property when all of the photos were online to be seen.  Any potential buyers certainly would not have a need to visit the property in person!  Given that my client used 30 photos to market the property in a variety of media and sold the property in 1 week, the previous agent’s rationale certainly does not support her argument that no one would visit the home or have any reason to if additional photos were provided.  Instead, it seems that many potential buyers may have not given the property any consideration at all as they possibly thought the lack of photos indicated there were some defects with the property which were not attractive.

We live in a world in which transparency is expected and has become the norm for many things.  At one time, real estate marketing consisted of ‘books’ of listings that could only be viewed with an agent.  Then a single exterior photo was provided with some narrative description.  Today we provide numerous photos, virtual tours, video, aerial photography, floor plans, professionally designed brochures, etc. This type of transparency appears to be beneficial as the buyers are able to select the homes they are most interested in and will then contact an agent to investigate the home further.  Often, this leads to faster property sales – saving both the seller and listing agent money as it costs more every day that the property is on the market.

Are you being transparent in your marketing to potential buyers?  If not, how is this affecting your sales?

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