I’ll try to hurry this along. Sellers out there don’t have a lot of time for idle chit chat. They’re busy primping, painting and prepping their homes for the crush of Facebook millionaires about to overwhelm the marketplace and make real estate feel all warm and fuzzy and magically 1999-ish again.
Remember? IPOs. Stock Options. An endless supply of money falling out of the sky like manna from heaven. Swarms of 30-somethings wandering house to house. Millions of dollars of what felt like “found” money, burning holes in their jean pockets. Competing with each other to play beach-blanket–bingo and push our ocean view prices up.
Now, more than a dozen years later, way post-tech and way post-housing bubbles, there are new signs of life. Everyone is getting addressed up. Poised with plenty of expectations. Asking the proverbial question: “How do we get us some of that?” As in – a Silicon-induced altered-estate of mind riding a new wave of mojo and moolah.
Funny thing… the revolution that transformed the market of the 90’s, also transformed the way real estate works. And although we all want the dough, some still seem slow to catch on to the altered the landscape and how Buyers actually Buy.
Here’s an exercise for those currently selling a home: Google your address and zip code. Get one of your kids to do it, if you have to. Hit search. See what comes up.
Say hello to the global village. An instant tower of babel that kicks into gear the second your listing gets loaded on the MLS. From there it’s downloaded through the wormhole-like portals of cyber-space. Distributed to the far reaches of the globe.
Look at your screen. There’s your home. Wave to yourself on Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, Movoto, Realtor.com et al. Check the satellite view. See if you were nude sun bathing in the backyard, the day it circled overhead and snapped the picture.
The feed doesn’t stop there. It keeps moving. Places like the Wall Street Journal, MSNBC and the DuPont Registry. You name it. Your home is a home away from home on thousands of search engines – cranking 24/7/365 – driving it directly by the eyes of tens of thousands of prospective buyers – primed for virtual drive-bys.
More than 90% of buyers and agents looking for property in Santa Cruz are using the web as the source. And most Sellers would be shocked at how many homes get deleted from consideration because they lack virtual curb appeal. Buyers zoom past with short attention spans. Quick reactions. Thumbs up or thumbs down. Until… something catches their eye and engages their attention. Then they switch gears. Suddenly they want as much information as they can get.
Sellers – stop worrying WHERE your property is being marketed. If it’s on the MLS, it is already everywhere. www. means the whole world is watching. Time to adjust your world-view.
Your home is a home page. You home’s setting is a web site. Your views are everyone’s views. If you want to obsess about something – how about: WHAT do buyers see when they take that first virtual drive-by of your home page?
Does your custom home even have a custom home page? A website commensurate with your remarkable setting? Sellers spend lots of time and $ staging their homes with interesting contents. Do their Listing Agents stage home pages with the same eye for quality content and interesting detail? Or are most Sellers just getting another version of the ten cent tour?
On the web as in real life, homes don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. What’s going to move that next generation of Facebook Millionaires? More great place looks and more likes online. Make sure your Agent is spending real time and real money in the virtual world.