We “dog food” our real estate search product at Estately (we use it like a consumer): I subscribe to a couple of daily email alerts, a constantly updating RSS feed showing properties as they come onto the market near my house, and I subscribe to a feed of my saved homes to see when they sell.
Today two properties came on the market (welcome to Seattle prices, out of towners!):
$720,000 3 Beds / 2.25 Baths / 15 photos / 1,412 sqft / $509 per sqft
$729,000 0 Beds / 0 Baths / 0 photos / 1,700 sqft / 2,400 sqft lot / $428 per sqft
I didn’t even look at the second property – really, what’s the point? Like most buyers, I’m driven by emotion. I click through photos pretty much as fast as they load until one catches my eye, I linger, something about the property gets past my reptilian complex and I actually consider the details. Good agents know this on both sides; they take fantastic, eye catching photos or hire a professional to do so. Some of our Agent Match clients have found that they overlooked a great property with bad photos until they were dragged there by their agent and at least one was pleased to find that bad photos and staging could cost a seller upwards of $25,000.
If you are a consumer selling your house, dog food it. Subscribe to a daily email of new homes for sale for a month or two before you list your house and see what catches your eye. It’ll make “decluttering” easier.
If you are a realtor who works with sellers, dog food it. Sign up for a daily email from your company’s website. If your listing doesn’t look good there, you’ve lost a lot of the buyers who are currently in the market. You missed your chance to catch their eye and they’ve moved on to Craigslist. Maybe you can have a second shot at impressing them there.