Sell that home!

Even when I worked at a real estate company, I thought this subject had been done to death, but I'm often amazed that many realtors don't put their listing's best face forward when trying to sell a home. Don't get me wrong, the situation has gotten phenomenally better over the years, but I see enough blunders on a regular basis to know that there are still realtors who need tips on selling their homes.

Every day, I pull up listings on to see some of the newer homes to hit the market.  Most listings are nice and have more than one photo, and have at least a good description of what the property is all about. What makes me feel compelled to visit a home or call the realtor?

  • Have a photo of the home itself, whether it's an interior or exterior shot. Don't just show me the view or the neighborhood, although that's nice as an extra.
  • Straighten up the home a little before taking pictures. If the home is empty, it doesn't hurt to stage it before taking photos, since presumably you'd like it to be staged for showing anyway.
  • Try to upload the best-quality photos possible. The MLS accepts large photos now, so you aren't stuck uploading tiny pictures that will look blurry on the computer.
  • Describe the home using specifics. I'm sure you feel the home is a jewel, or feels peaceful, or is just "really, really nice," but I'd really like to know what kind of materials were used, what brand appliances, who the architect is, and how big things are. On that note, if you know the home was constructed with a lot of koa wood, that's an important point to mention. Just saying.
  • Make use of as many description options in the MLS as possible. When I see a sparse page on, I get a little suspicious.

Here's an example of a listing that I found today as I was looking for listings. I don't mean to make an example of this realtor, so I've blurred out the company name and MLS number to protect their identity.

First, the address isn't disclosed. That's a little odd-if you're not going to give the address, maybe at least say what the condo's name is. Then it doesn't say how many square feet the condo is.

The red flag here is the fact that there's no interior shot of the unit, only a photo of a dog. Maybe this is a secret code to alert you that this is a "dog" of a listing? The remarks do say it's to be sold "as is," so I can only guess.

Maybe the price is good. Maybe the seller is just going through the motions. But if you really want to sell your home, and sell it quickly, make it enticing for buyers to want to check it out.