Buyers have to be able to find your listing. But there’s a lot of competition on every multiple listing service (USRealty.com would know – we belong to 110 MLS systems across the country and have coo-operating relationships with agents in every other MLS system, creating a national network.)
Here are three black holes that can pull your listing from view – and how to keep your house fully visible to the widest range of potential buyers.
- Seasonal activities and culture. Thinking of listing a rural getaway in early November? Don’t. The house probably will appeal to hunters and outdoorsy types, but deer season usually opens in early November. They’ll be in their blinds and tromping through the woods, not hitting ‘refresh’ to see the latest online listings. List well before or after popular seasons and events, especially those that rivet people’s attention in your market. It’s easy to plan around Christmas, but when do local schools open? Is there a local festival that brings everything to a halt? Don’t aim your listing for those stretches of the calendar.
- Price the way buyers think…and don’t price just over the top number for your target buyers. If you think your house will probably fetch $245,000, your target buyer is probably looking at houses with list prices of no more than $250,000. If you decide to ask just a bit more – say, $252,000 – you won’t be found by potential buyers who are searching for houses $250,000 and under. Carefully think through the implications of your asking price and consider asking just a little less to stay within popular search parameters.
- Put yourself on the map, virtually and in real life. Often, real-life addresses don’t match up with online map services. Before you list, test your address in popular searches and online maps. If those maps can’t find you, buyers can’t either. Include written directions to your house in communication with buyers and their agents, and use local landmarks. Be sure to have large, well-lit street numbers easily visible from both directions, and at all times of day. If buyers can’t find the house, they’ll keep going.