They say a picture paints a thousand words and videos and virtual tours (VT) can tell volumes, and yet I see new listings go into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) everyday without any photos. How dare your agents not place pictures in the system at the time as the rest of the information is placed?
I look at newest inventory on a daily basis and usually pass-over the ones without the photos. As a courtesy to our office’s client sellers and my fellow neighboring real estate companies (with the exception of a certain yellow company that disallows their listings displayed, as they feel it is a disservice to their clients to have their homes posted in the center of the Madison Business district), and in conjunction our IDX agreement, our company places a sampling the newest MLS listings of Madison, Harding and Florham Park in our storefront window and as a pass-out. With our hundreds of weekly passer-by’s, we have garnered many window shoppers resulting in walk-ins inquiring of these properties. However, one of my policies for display is that the MLS listing must have photos.
Which brings me to the true reasoning for today’s blog, I am, and you as a home seller should be, bothered by the fact that a home’s exposure and market positioning is compromised by their Realtor not placing professional photos at the time of listing. That same Realtor who has been entrusted by their seller to do what is necessary to market and get the home sold.
Today’s online presence is based on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The higher a product is on the search page or the ”SEO food chain”, the better chance to have someone “click” on that product and delve further onto its web pages. Therefore those sights with photos,virtual tours and videos always supersedes mere descriptions and having all in place will take precedence in searches many being on either 1st or 2nd page of the search engine site. In other words more “stuff” equals more visitors (hits), which increase more chances to sell that product for the highest price in the shortest amount of time.
This does not only occur in the normal google, aol, etc., searches, but also the ubiquitous Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, and other real estate sites. MORE = MORE. It is so prevalent in the sale of homes because the first 2 weeks the home is on the market are the most critical to the success of its sale and if those pictures are not online at the on-set, and every day there are no photos, the seller loses valuable time and even more importantly, money. Instead of starting at the top of the aforementioned SEO food chain, the home is placed at the bottom and has a difficult time to climb up amongst the competition. (yep, competition) Agents will tell you, that they want to get your listing on the market right away and follow with photos. There is no reason to get a home on the market when it is not ready, and not having photos in the listing means it is not ready to be marketed . Most agents will eventually place in the photos, but time is money.
HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS
The MLS system that most area agents use is known as the Garden State Multiple Listing System. This system allows a listing to be uploaded, with the photo upload to be followed (contingent upon GSMLS review). The review takes very little time and if timing is right, will follow the listing in minutes for MLS distribution to the aforementioned system as well as linking directly to many other real estate portals. For those agents that participate in a secondary (New Jersey MLS) & tertiary (Hudson County MLS) MLS systems for full Northern New Jersey Realtor exposure, (Coccia Realty being one of the very few), there is no review of the photos, therefore going live instantly. But again the photos have to be ready to be uploaded.
Launching a home properly for sale is a step by step process that will get the most out of the first 2 weeks of the homes listing period: it starts with choosing a Realtor that fits your needs, I recommend interviewing more than one agent; staging and pricing the home; having the agent hire a professional photographer to take photos and a virtual tour of the property. Once the pictures are processed (usually within 24 hours) the property description, including room sizes, is listed on the MLS services (insist on more than one service, and if the agent or agency cannot accommodate you to get your homes optimum exposure, consider interviewing an agency that will): photos are then uploaded directly afterwards (for GSMLS purposes). I recommend that area photos are also included in the photo montage as it paints a vision of not just moving into the home but into the neighborhood, the lifestyle, etc.; add the VT; youtube video; and links to other informational sites including www.walkscore.com.
With all in place, your home would be sure to be at the upper choices in the all important SEO food chain and guaranteed to get the best exposure which in most cases gets you the best price.