Maria DiCarlo's Blog
Often in real estate, the saying goes that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” While pictures can help buyers to get more interested in a property, going a bit further in the listing description can help to get the property even more in-person views. If you work diligently with your real estate agent to create a great description of your home for sale. There’s a few simple tips to make sure that the listing description of your home will bring buyers knocking.
Think Of Your Audience
Remember that one of the most important things in writing anything is to write it for the audience that you’re trying to reach. Who will actually be reading your home’s listing? Besides potential buyers, other realtors and home search engines will be glancing at your listing. This means that you have to meet a few different purposes with one description. Your description should include:
- A clear, concise description of the home and its contents
- Important information surrounding the sale of the home including if it’s a short sale, foreclosure, etc.
The Limitations Of The MLS
The MLS is where homes are listed most often. It does not give a lot of room for creativity in listing descriptions. Keep in mind that you don’t want to repeat a lot of the same information throughout the description. For example, there’s no need to repeat that the home has 3 bedrooms and one bathroom multiple times. There is a property details section that lists all of these major factors about the property. It’s definitely to your benefit to include alluring features of the property that you think are unique and possibly hard to find. Describe something that you know other people will want to see.
Improved Homes Are Attractive Homes
If you have made upgrades to a home such as new appliances, new kitchen countertops, or a new roof, make sure that you include that in the listing description. Buyers love homeowners who have taken good care of their homes. People are much more likely to buy a home that they believe is move-in ready. It’s much more comforting to buyers.
It’s What You Say And How You Say It
There’s a lot more clout behind certain words than others when it comes to real estate. These words make buyers more likely to act and go see a listing in person. The words you use can vary including those that describe:
- The type of countertop
- The landscape of the home
- The condition of the home
- The materials used within the home
Certain marketing buzzwords don’t work when it comes to selling a home. These include anything that sounds too good to be true like a “quiet” neighborhood, or stating that the home is ready to move into. While these things can be true, it’s often best to let the listing description lead buyers to see the home, and discover these bonus points for themselves.
When you’re selling a home, remember that honesty is the best policy. If you do decide to be dishonest as a seller, there can be some major legal consequences heading your way at a later date. As a general rule, if you think you should disclose something then you probably need to tell the buyer about it. There are a few things that are major concerns for sellers. If you know about any of the events mentioned below, you need to include it in your seller’s disclosure.
Lead paint is a major concern especially for families with children. If your home was built before 1978, you’ll need to sign a disclosure stating whether or not you know of any lead paint on the property. If you are unaware of any issues with the paint, then you are not legally obligated to provide information, since you don’t know any better. If you did know that the home was de-leaded or have had lead paint testing done, you’ll need to disclose this info for the buyer’s knowledge.
If there was ever a death on the property that you knew about, you’ll need to disclose this to your buyers. Murders, suicides, and violent crimes all need to be revealed if they happened on your property. While it’s an unpleasant thing to think about, buyers have a right to know. Deaths that have occurred before a certain time span may not need to be disclosed. You can check with the specific rules in your own state.
When it comes to selling your home, there are certain things that you may find silly but others find that they need to know. This includes any kind of paranormal activity like ghosts. Some states require that you release any information you may have about ghosts on a property in order to sell your home. If you believe the house is haunted, you have an obligation to tell buyers about it. If an exorcism or other strange activity has occurred on the property, you’ll need to tell buyers about that as well. There’s no issue too small when it comes to disclosing things about your home.
If your home has any kind of flooding problems or drainage issues, you should tell your buyers about it. Everything from a basement that floods to standing water in the backyard can be an issue. If you know about it as a seller and do not tell your buyers, you could face some serious consequences from it. If you have fixed these issues in the past, it’s also worth adding to your disclosure as buyers will know that you have been proactive in taking care of any problems on the property.
Want to sell your home? Like many home sellers, you're probably on the lookout for a real estate agent who can help you get the best price for your house.
Choosing the right real estate agent usually will require you to perform comprehensive research. You'll need to examine the credentials and skills of many real estate agents in your area. Plus, you may want to sit down and chat with various real estate agents to find one who can simplify the home selling process.
Ultimately, there are several questions you should ask a real estate agent before you hire him or her to sell your house, including:
1. What is your home selling experience?
No two homes are identical, and much in the same way, no two real estate agents are exactly alike. As such, you should learn about a real estate agent's experience to ensure he or she possesses the expertise necessary to sell your house.
For example, if you're selling a condo, you may want to hire a real estate professional with condo experience. Or, if you're looking to sell your home as quickly as possible, you should find a real estate agent who knows how to promote a home across social media and other platforms.
2. How will you keep in touch?
What good is a real estate agent if this professional fails to keep you informed throughout the home selling journey?
With the right real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to stay up to date along each stage of the home selling process. In fact, this professional will provide you with updates about offers on your home, requests to view your residence and much more.
Furthermore, your real estate agent should be easily accessible via phone and email. This means if you need support at any point during the home selling journey, your real estate agent will be able to assist you.
3. Can you provide references?
An expert real estate agent should have no trouble connecting you with past clients. That way, you can find out how this real estate professional has helped previous home sellers accomplish their goals.
If you connect with a real estate agent's past clients, you can get a better idea about how this real estate professional responds to various home selling challenges. As a result, you'll be better equipped to determine if this real estate agent is the right person to help you sell your house.
4. How will you market my house?
A real estate agent should go above and beyond the call of duty to market your house to the right groups of homebuyers. This professional typically will allocate extensive time and resources to learn about you and your home selling needs and help you plan accordingly.
Finding out how a real estate agent will promote your home is essential. With this information, you can understand whether a real estate agent will do everything possible to showcase your residence to potential homebuyers.
Use the aforementioned questions, and you can select the right real estate agent to help you sell your home.
What Is The Disclosure Statement?
Disclosure statements are used in many of life’s situations. This is the place where the buyer is able to learn about the ins and outs of the property that they are about the buy. Examples of items that would be on a seller’s disclosure are:
- Water in the basement
- Updates made to the home
- Known pests
- Paranormal activity
- Death on the property
- Past fires
- Nearby major construction projects
- Title 5 sewerage issues
Disclosures Serves As Protections
The disclosure statement serves as a protection for both the buyer and the seller. From a buyer’s perspective, through this information, they are able to understand a bit more about the property that they are potentially buying.
On the seller’s side of things, the disclosure statement serves a s legal protection of sorts. The seller is obliged to reveal anything about the property that could potentially affect the value or affect the living conditions.
How Does The Seller Make The Disclosure
Each state and even each city within a state varies in the way a disclosure is conducted. The statement can be composed of dozens of documents that need to be signed by the seller. Other states have disclosure document forms that consist of a series of yes or no questions about the home. Sellers may also be required o present communications between neighbors, owners, and agents. In some states, the disclosure statement is valid for up to 10 years, allowing buyers to collect damages if something wasn’t properly presented on the statement.
How Do Sellers Know What To Disclose?
The basic rule of thumb is that if you know something about your property, you should disclose it. If you try to hide something, it could come back to meet you in the form of a lawsuit, even years later. Many states have legal requirements as to what should be revealed on these documents.
What’s Disclosed To Buyers?
The disclosure doesn’t have to be all bad. This document is also an opportunity for sellers to present any of the improvements that they have made to the home. Make sure that you include all of the upgrades, renovations, and improvements that you have made to the home that you’re selling. This can help to impress buyers as to how well you have taken care of the property.
It’s easy as the buyer to check some of these improvements as you can find out if the work was done with or without permits by checking with the city’s zoning reports. Work that was done without a permit may have not been completed according to code. This could pose some serious health and safety risks to you and your family.
Problems that you’ll want to disclose as a seller include pest problems, property line disputes, disturbances in the neighborhood, liens on the property, and appliance malfunctions.
Remember that the disclosure doesn’t substitute the buyer’s right to a professional inspection of the property. It’s important for buyers to know as much about a property as they can in order to be sure they’re making a good investment.