REALTORS® Remind Sellers that Most Showings Are Now Online

November 12, 2015 by

“The encouraging lift-off in existing home sales amidst ongoing inventory shortages kept home prices rising in most of the country during the third quarter.” This quote from a recent press release by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) perfectly captures what’s been happening in the Boise region over the past few months.

And while Ada County has continued to enjoy a strong real estate market, especially compared to recent years, Q4 is when we see an annual, seasonal slowdown in home buyer and home seller activity. But for sellers hoping to move this year, any drop in the number of showings their home receives, can cause concern. Gary Salisbury, the 2016 Vice President of the Ada County Association of REALTORS® (ACAR) reminds sellers “that most ‘showings’—especially first showings—are now happening online, not in person.”

NAR’s 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers confirms this, noting that buyers rank photos and detailed property descriptions as the two most important things they look at when searching for homes online that they may want to see in person. With that in mind, here are some tips from local REALTORS® about how they utilize photos, copy, and more, when marketing homes online:

Listing Photos, Staging, and Video Tours

  • Hire a professional photographer who knows how to capture each room or space perfectly.
  • But first, declutter and bring in stager to make sure that each room will photograph beautifully.
  • Hire a professional videographer who can show how the home flows, especially if there is a unique or potentially confusing floorplan, or to highlight things that have to be seen in action (water features, automated window coverings, etc.)

Detailed Information and Property-Specific Websites

  • Write detailed and engaging property descriptions, to tell the story of the home and give buyers a sense of what it will be like to live there.
  • Highlight any recent updates, improvements, and renovations, noting popular brands, materials, or even contractors that were used.
  • Close to the Greenbelt or a popular new restaurant? Play up location-based features about the neighborhood or nearby amenities.
  • Create a property-specific website or detailed blog post featuring a variety of photos, links, stories, supplemental information, and more.

Tracking Activity Online

Ask your agent to provide regular updates about the activity your listing is getting online across all platforms—views, saves, clicks, etc. “If you and your agent have done everything you can to make the home ‘show well’ online, but there’s a drop off in search activity, or you’re not getting in person showings commensurate with the online interest, it’s time to review price,” says Brenda Kolsen, 2015 President of the Ada County Association of REALTORS®. “Your real estate agent can keep you up-to-date on any changes to the market, especially among comparable listings or recent solds, so you can stay competitive in both price and presentation.”

With that, here’s a summary of single-family home activity in Ada County in October 2015:

  • Closed Sales were at 773, up 14.9% year-over-year, and up 18.8% YTD
  • Median Sales Price was at $230,000, up 10.0% year-over-year, and up 8.4% YTD
  • Days on Market was at 45 days, down 22.4% year-over-year, and down 9.1% YTD
  • Pending Sales were at 1,224, up 38.3% year-over-year (not tracked YTD)
  • Inventory was at 2,229, down 14.0% year-over-year (not tracked YTD)
  • Months of Inventory was at 2.8 months, down 28.2% year-over-year (not tracked YTD)

Download the October 2015 Snapshot [Graphic]

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NOTE: The information in this market report is based on a variety of sources, but primarily on the public statistics provided by the Intermountain MLS (IMLS), a subsidiary of ACAR, available here: http://publicstats.intermountainmls.com/static/Reports/Ada/2015/October-2015-Ada.pdf. These statistics are based upon information secured by the agent from the owner or their representative. The accuracy of this information, while deemed reliable, has not been verified and is not guaranteed. These statistics are not intended to represent the total number of properties sold in Ada County during the specified time period. The IMLS provides these statistics for purposes of general market analysis but makes no representations as to the past or future appreciation or depreciation of property values. (To reduce the error, only data falling within 3 standard deviations from the mean has been included in the report. Existing and new construction statistics are calculated independently and may not sum to the total number of homes sold.) Changes to methodology: Effective 3/1/2007, ‘days on market’ refers to the number of days that transpire between the listing date and the date the property goes into pending status. Effective 4/1/2011, standard deviation is modified to reflect the difference between the asking and sold prices as a percentage of the asking price.

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