The ongoing threat of COVID-19 means that our lives have become increasingly digital. Now more than ever before, sellers will need to ensure that their listing stands out online if they want to secure a timeous sale.
According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of REMAX of Southern Africa, in today’s market, buyers will first view a property online before they make the effort to view it in person. “The house hunting process now starts online – so much so that our website statistics for 2020 reveal that the traffic to our site has increased by 30,86% when compared to 2019. Sellers who do not take the time to ensure that their property is marketed correctly online are dramatically decreasing the true marketing potential of their homes,” he advises.
His first suggestion is to ensure that the agent and agency through whom you are dealing has a well-established online presence. “Most buyers tend to start their search through property search portals first before they visit brand-specific websites. While this is true, it is equally important that your chosen real estate professional has their own online presence. Not only will this assure buyers that they are dealing with a legitimate professional, but it might also attract additional buyers to your listing – especially if the agent has a solid following on social media,” Goslett suggests.
If your listing will appear on multiple online portals, Goslett recommends fact checking each one. “Experienced agents will double check this themselves, but it always worth checking that the information supplied is the same across the board, especially if you have chosen to market your property yourself or through multiple agencies. Factors such as price and contact details are particularly important in this respect,” he points out. Beyond this, copy gremlins often manage to slip past even the most diligent of agents, which is why a second pair of fresh eyes can be helpful. “Buyers search according to certain filters, so if your listing information is misspelt or has not been included, then your property will not surface in the list of results for certain searches,” he warns.
This is also why it is so important to have a listing description that does not leave out any important information. According to Goslett, leaving space for unanswered questions on your listing is an easy way of redirecting buyers to a property where they can find all the information they need. “An experienced agent will know how to write a comprehensive listing description; but it is important that you mention all the key selling features that are not visible in photographs, such as underfloor heating or heated towel rails, to your agent so that they know to include it in the listing description,” he advises.
As a final piece of advice, Goslett explains that even the most sought-after property can be overlooked if the listing images are poor quality or if they do not provide insight into what the property has to offer.
“Most agents will hire a professional photographer to take your listing photographs. This will ensure that the images that are uploaded are not blurry and that they provide an enticing view of each room. These days, a virtual tour would be preferable, but in lieu of this, the more quality images you provide of the property, the better.”
“Successfully marketing a property during these uncertain times is a complicated process. It is best to leave it in the hands of a reputable agent who knows how to entice buyers to leave their computer screens and safely take the next step to view the property in person,” Goslett concludes.