Bay Area: Selling Online …In a Way that Doesn’t Waste Time

ist2_70148_homes_for_sale_classifieds_2.jpgRedfin’s 7 tactics for selling your home are hard to argue with (though of course, you can argue, on the forums), but I still say that a few of the science-backed strategies need some elaboration. One, for instance, is tactic #5:

Market the property online: A December 2007 Redfin study of 121 of its own listings from September 1, 2007 to November 30, 2007 found that a Craigslist posting about a listing generated an average of 6.8 visits to that listing on Redfin’s website. That each visitor navigates from Craigslist to Redfin to see the listing in detail suggests that many may be serious potential buyers.

To this I say yay; but if that online listing is low quality: nay! Don’t skip the pics. Don’t screw up the pics. Don’t lie, prevaricate, or elude in the text. If you do, you risk losing your buyer and/or wasting your own time. This is also part of “being present” for the sale of your house. If you use a realtor, be involved in the online exposure the realtor creates for your home…or you might end up the sort of listings I rail against here and in my forum post.

A few examples:

Mystery Address, SF: First off, what’s the !@#*!?#* address? I want to know what neighborhood a house is in before I even consider looking at it. How many phone calls and/or emails would be saved with the addition of that basic piece of information? And second, if the kitchen is as sunny as promised in the write-up, why no picture of it?

455 Orizaba Ave., SF: A 2/1 single-family for only $499,000 might catch my attention, but the photo display only attracts suspicion. Two half-ass shots of the exterior but three shots of “city views” make this would-be buyer positive something horrendous lurks inside the building. Doubtful this was the goal of seller.

251 Montana St., SF: To be fair, the language of the ad hints that this place is a teardown, so the lack of interior shots just confirms you’re basically buying the lot. However, I take issue with this line: “record show [sic] only 1bd 1 bath, owner claim there’s 2 beds 1 bath,huge yard with pano view.” Um, so there’s no view that you, the realtor, know of? No yard you can confirm? The owner says they exist but you just aren’t sure? And what of the bedrooms? SF law is pretty clear on this issue. A room can be called a bedroom if it has both closet and window. So, do the rooms inside qualify or not? Have you even been inside?

In contrast, here’s an honest listing:

4027-4033 26th St., SF.: “Builders and developer take note. The existing home is very small and is uninhabitable and without much merit.” Okay, got it. And the photos confirm. The fact that the lot you are really buying is “on a nice block” may or may not make $1,649 per square foot seem like a good buy (some people at Socketsite took issue with that figure). At least you know what you’re getting.