As a real estate professional, you work hard to find clients and offer the best service you can. Once you’ve landed a client who wants to sell their property, you face a new challenge: creating a property listing that attracts buyers and helps the seller secure the best possible offer on their asset. That sounds simple enough. However, there are common and recurring listing mistakes that agents make, and it costs both them and their clients.

Keep reading to learn about the most common listing mistakes made by agents as well as how you can avoid them.

67 Strategies to Get More Referrals

Listing Mistake #1: Exorbitant List Price

Setting the price too high is a common listing pitfall for new and seasoned agents. Often, you will have limited control over the listing price since a seller will insist that they can get a better offer on their property. You may need to use all your local real estate market knowledge to show your client how much similar properties in their area are selling for and what realistic price their asset may fetch.

Granted, it’s always possible to lower the asking price, but by then, the property may have spent a lot of time on local MLS listings—a factor that, along with multiple price reductions, can put off prospective buyers. People who look at the listing may wonder what’s wrong with the property and why it has been on the market so long.

When agreeing to a price on a property listing, ensure it’s a realistic amount for this property in this market. If the seller asks for an unreasonable price, consider whether you want to spend time and resources promoting a listing that may not attract offers.

Listing Mistake #2: Not Sharing the Right Details

real estate property listing viewed on a tablet

A professional property listing will share all the basic information, like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the lot, and the property’s exact location. However, to make your listing stand out, consider what makes up the asset’s unique selling points. What type of buyer does your listing target, and what qualities are they looking for in their future home?

For example, if you’re listing a family home in a quiet neighborhood, you may mention the street’s small-town vibe and the property’s convenient proximity to the best schools in the area. If the asset is in a bustling urban area, you may say, “This charming condo places you a stone’s throw from the city’s recreation, shopping, and cultural centers.”

Your listing may also capitalize on any special features the asset offers. For example: “The revamped garage attached to the house can serve as a studio or workshop” or “This one-story home is 100% wheelchair accessible.”

Unfortunately, some agents fail to include this type of detailed description. This can lead to the listing being overlooked by prospective buyers who would otherwise be very interested in the property. Consider the following as an example: A couple is looking for their starter home with a separate basement so that they can rent it out to help with their mortgage. They’re scanning listings for words like “duplex” and “separate basement apartment.” If there’s a property that has a finished basement apartment, but it hasn’t been used as one, leaving that off the description may be a listing mistake. This couple may think the home is cute, but look past it because it doesn’t appear to fit their needs.

67 Strategies to Get More Referrals

Listing Mistake #3: Unintentionally Misleading Prospective Buyers

While a property listing should attract buyers, it’s important to share accurate information and avoid misleading statements. To maintain your professional credibility, double- and triple-check any information you offer.

For instance:

  • If you mention any property development potential, like additions or subdivisions, make sure they comply with local building regulations
  • Avoid implying any potential flexibility in the asking price if you’re already listing the asset at the seller’s absolute minimum
  • Be truthful as you describe the property’s attractions and conveniences. For example, if the asset is located one mile from the city center, it’s better to use the expression “short commute” rather than “walking distance,” as every buyer has different needs and abilities.

Listing Mistake #4: Unflattering Photos

a couple reviewing their listing and complaining about mistakes

Bad photography is one of the most frequent listing mistakes by agents. Prospective buyers will notice the asset’s photos before they read a single word of text, so you must ensure your listing includes multiple clear and attractive images.

To boost your listing’s ratings, you should do the following in advance:

  • Include enough photos. After you grab the viewer’s attention with an enticing image of the home’s front, walk them through all the main areas prospective buyers like to see, including the main bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and back yard. Consider adding a short video tour of the property.
  • Spruce up the property. Peeling paint, a broken fence, an overgrown lawn, and heaps of clutter are as unappealing as they are easy to fix. Encourage your client to give their home a quick facelift before you take photos of the property.
  • Emphasize attractions. If the property includes some unique charms, like stunning old trees, interesting architecture, or an outdoor hot tub, include them in the listing to help the asset stand out.
  • Consider the lighting and the season. Depending on the area, the same home may look a lot more attractive in the spring or summer, when you can photograph the asset against a flattering backdrop of lush vegetation and blue sky.

Often, working with a professional photographer is the most effective way to get alluring images of the property and attract potential buyers. A photographer can choose the right time of day, angle, and weather to show off the asset to the utmost advantage.

One word of caution: Be careful about using heavily edited images, as these may appear like false advertising.  

Listing Mistake #5: Faulty Marketing Strategy

In a competitive market, advertising property takes more than a one-time MLS listing. If your listing doesn’t generate much interest, it’s time to rethink your marketing strategy.

You may:

  • Reassess your listing. Is the price too high? Does the listing need more images?
  • Promote the listing through your social media, blog, email list, or even paid ads.
  • Look into alternative advertising methods. Even in our digital age, printed marketing materials have a lot of power. Maybe the property needs a more attractive “For Sale” sign, or maybe you should invest in brochures, flyers, or local newspaper ads.

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