Real estate agents generally pay a flat rate subscription to the property web sites and can list as many homes as they like within that fee. And the more listings they have up, the more enquiry they get. But unfortunately none of the real estate portals yet have a system in place to “expire” the listings at any point.
When a new listing comes onto the market there’s a buzz around the place. Buyers eagerly await their e-alerts from the web portals and the enquiry often comes thick and fast in those first few days. (It’s one of the reasons setting your asking price is so important, capitalising on that early response. But we digress…) After a couple of weeks it can take tailored promotion, price reductions and a good dose of tenacity to capture buyer interest. And after 6 or 8 weeks many sellers, and their agents, lose interest in the process and give it up as too hard.
So buyers often get frustrated that the online info is out of date. Open houses details from weeks ago. Tenancy info on leases that have long expired. There’s two ads live right now on one of the portals that recommend you buy before August 1st to avoid stamp duty changes. Another says the property must be sold before Christmas…but they’re not talking about 2011. Many times the property has been sold or withdrawn from the market months ago, but there’s no requirement on the agent to remove the listing.
Buyers are tired of dredging through this rubbish. They deserve better too – considering the hundreds of thousands of dollars we’re asking them to spend. In Brisbane CBD this week there were 531 properties for sale on realestate.com.au. Have a look at your suburb. Toowong (114) and New Farm (176) have a heap of listings on the web too. But how many are current and relevant?
If you’re selling make sure your agents keeps your ad fresh. You need to stand out of the crowd. Change the hero shot and headline around so the home has a better chance of standing out in those tiny search result lists. (Professional pics and an ad that’s relevant and targeted are always essential). Use a “last updated” date at the bottom of each ad to let buyers know it’s current. If your property’s not attracting any enquiry a “spruce up” of the web ad is a quick and free option.