My Top 5 Pet Peeves About Listings & What You Can Do About Them!
As a Listing Agent, I am constantly looking at new listings to stay informed about the local markets, compare prices and features as I discuss pricing with my Seller Clients or evaluate them for prospective Buyers.
Sometimes, real estate agents talk about a listing that makes them laugh out loud! Other times, we feel so thoroughly frustrated at the way a home is being presented. Do the sellers realize this is how their home is being presented??
Everyone makes mistakes, but some of these Pet Peeves are a sign that no one was paying attention to the details.
Here are my Top 5 Pet Peeves About Listings & What You Can Do About Them:
1. Including the square footage of the basement as part of the Approximate Living Area without disclosing that some of that space is below ground.
In my market, the Approximate Living Area of a home does not include basement space even if that space is finished. It is misleading to buyers when they consider the size and price of a property and compare it to other homes that they believe are similar in size.
Ask your agent to give you the square footage of the living area according to the town or city records.
2. Marketing a house as having more bedrooms than it really does.
Homes with more bedrooms usually sell at higher prices. You may use 4 rooms as bedrooms, but if town records indicate a 3-bedroom home that's how it must be marketed.
In most local communities, you can check the file on a property by contacting the Department of Public Works (DPW) office and asking about the property file. Some DPWs will answer your questions over the phone, too!
3. Discriminatory descriptions about neighborhoods.
For example, a buyer asks, "What kinds of people live in this neighborhood?" It is a violation of the Fair Housing Act to market a property in a way that indicates a preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap/disability, familial status (e.g. children or marital status) or national origin.
Drive or walk around a neighborhood or talk to residents to get a feel for the area. You can check with the Police Department about crime, look at school districts and other information that may be online.
4. Providing inaccurate information in the listing description.
For example, giving the incorrect amount of the Home Owners Association (HOA) fees, or stating that a parking space is deeded when it is only assigned.
If you are buying a condominium ask for the Condominium Documents which include a copy of the Articles of Organization, Master Deed, Unit Deed, By-Laws, Rules and Regulations which an attorney should review for you. Also, check to see if there are any special financial assessments in place or coming up that you will need to pay.
5. Photos that are blurry, that distort the size of the rooms or are posted sideways.
Yes. Sideways! Or, listings that only show 1 to 2 photos of the property when you can provide up to 30 photos in the Multiple Listing Service (MLSPIN). And, then there are the photos of the toilets!
Sellers should check the online listing once it is posted. Buyers want to see what the house looks like inside. If the photos only show the exterior of the house, you usually expect to see the words "contractors' or handymans' special. If that does not describe your house, make sure the photos reflect the features and living space.
If you are thinking of selling your house, call Nina Rogoff, RE/MAX Executive Realty, 781-883-3764 for a market analysis. I'll help you understand your property's market value, share my knowledge of the local real estate market and explain how I will market your home and get it sold!
Now that you know my Top 5 Pet Peeves Peeves About Listings & What You Can Do About It, what are your top pet peeves when selling or buying a home?