Key to Successful Listing: Attending to Basics

This blog’s classification on Technorati not under “Real Estate” but “Football” (“Dear Technorati“) has had me thinking in terms of — you guessed it! — football metaphors.

Like this one: just as football games are supposedly won “in the trenches,” with good blocking and tackling, so, too, are successful listings characterized by attending to the basics.

Here’s my (partial) list of what constitutes good Realtor — and homeowner — “blocking and tackling”:

–For sale homes should always be “showing-ready”: clean and orderly, well-staged, everything in good repair, and generally welcoming.

–Whenever possible, make sure all the lights are on for showings. And for second showings, absolutely!

–The Minnesota Seller’s Disclosure and any municipal point-of-sale inspection paperwork should be completed and readily available, both in the home and online.

–The MLS allows 10 photos per listing. Use them! (and make sure they’re good! –flattering angles, in focus, well-lit with no shadows, etc.).

–The Listing Agent should be be readily accessible to field inquiries, arrange access to the home, and be in regular communication with the owner.

–The home should be available to Realtors via Broker Tour (at the commencement of the listing), and thereafter to the public through Sunday open houses at regular intervals. (Note: there’s a difference between “good exposure” and “overexposure.”)

–Literature Box: if the curb appeal is deceiving, provide a literature box in front of the home so that prospective Buyers can see interior photos.

–All the information about the home on MLS should be accurate and proofed for typo’s (you’d be surprised how often this one is violated). Is the MLS area correct? Are appropriate boxes for foreclosures and short sales marked?

So what other parallels are there between football and selling homes?

The team — and Realtor — that makes the fewest unforced errors and turnovers often wins.

Case in point: I viewed a home last month with a spectacular unfinished expansion — great overhead, wide stairs with excellent risers, two dormers already in place — that I discovered completely by accident: I thought I was opening a door to a closet!

The listing agent finally updated her marketing materials to showcase the expansion potential several weeks into the listing (and also conspicuously marked the stairway door!), but by then the first (and most serious) wave of Buyers had already been through.

P.S.: of course, great football teams — and Realtors — excel at both blocking and tackling and the big flourishes, like the acrobatic, one-handed touchdown catches (in real estate, think, the blow-away photos and marketing literature).

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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