When you are ready to sell your home, you need to treat your MLS listing like it is your home’s resume.
(In case you didn’t know, MLS stands for Multiple Listing Service. It is the cooperative system in which real estate brokers agree to cooperate with other brokerages when selling homes by offering a portion of the commission earned by the listing broker to the broker that procures a buyer resulting in a sale.)
What is the Purpose of the MLS listing?
The goal of your MLS listing is not to sell your house. It is to get people to come look at your house. Just as the purpose of a resume is to get you an interview, not the job.
Think about it. If the first step in getting a job is to get an employer to interview you out of all of the other candidates, your resume needs to make them see something that says this person looks more qualified or better educated than the rest of the folks that are applying. It needs to say to an employer, I need to talk to this candidate!
Your home’s resume needs to do the same thing. If your MLS listing doesn’t show pictures that highlight the best rooms in the home or doesn’t talk about the features that will attract buyers, it won’t even get a showing.
A Bad Resume Can Keep You from Getting an Interview
If you sent out resumes that were poorly formatted or had spelling and grammar mistakes, you would have a much lower chance of getting an interview. A future employer will think that if this is your best effort at presenting yourself well, what would you be like AFTER I hired you.
It’s the same for your home’s resume…your MLS listing. If you don’t show pictures that make the property look inviting, most buyers will eliminate the house before they even come see it.
Other major mistakes on your MLS that will prevent you from getting showings are:
- Wrong location: If you sent your resume for a marketing position to the accounting department manager, how likely is it that you would get an interview? If your house is not listed in the correct city and high school where it is located, buyers searching for homes in that specific area won’t know you are on the market.
- Wrong number of bedrooms & bathrooms: You would be amazed at how many home listings show a home as having 0 bedrooms or 0 bathrooms, or both. Even more have careless mistakes that reduce the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the listing vs the number that are really in the house. If an employer has a minimum education requirement of a college degree for a specific position, do you think they would bother to interview a candidate that doesn’t list their degree on the resume?
- Missing Features: Home features are just like an employee’s skill sets. Most employers are looking for very specific experience. If you have budgeting experience, but don’t include it on the resume, you may miss an opportunity at an interview that needs an employee with strong budgeting skills. If you have a finished basement, but it isn’t listed as a finished basement in the searchable basement category, it won’t matter that you described it in the marketing remarks paragraph because your house won’t even make it into the search results.
Even a Great Resume Won’t Get You the Job if You Don’t Interview Well in Person
You can have the world’s best MLS listing. You can bring out a photographer that uses wide angle lenses and make the rooms look bigger and brighter than they really are. You can describe the house in glowing terms and make buyers believe that it is going to be snatched up instantly so they need to drop everything and schedule a showing.
But when they show up, and see it in person, if your house doesn’t live up to the hype, they buyers will get back into their cars and drive away.
An overpriced home will get passed over…just as an employment candidate demanding too high a salary will not get hired.
Bad first impressions…it’s hard to reverse a bad first impression, no matter how much substance there is once you really start looking. If the house is dirty or cluttered, most buyers won’t even notice the upgraded fixtures in the bathroom. Want to know how to make a good first impression? Check out this article with great tips for getting your house ready for sale.
Misleading advertising…your resume can say anything, but the employer will see right through you when they start asking you questions. You can say anything you want about a house, but buyers will decide for themselves if the house is really ‘fabulous’.
Buyers will see a home for what it is. They will make an offer when it is the best property, offering the features that buyers really want, at the lowest price compared to the nearby competition.