You know the feeling – it sets in right about now. When you can’t stand the thought of one more snowflake, when your backyard looks like the Arctic tundra and all you want is a warm beach on which to thaw out your winter-weary body.
Guess what? Your home-buyers are feeling it too, especially if you sell real estate in some of the nation’s colder climes.
Use these longings to your seller’s benefit by spicing up your spring real estate listing descriptions. Let’s conjure up feelings of hot fun in the summertime.
Use your words
According to a study published last summer at Realtor.com, summer listings that included the words “summer days” or “summer fun” were popular, especially in the Northeast.
“In Michigan . . . listings with these terms cost a whopping 36 percent more per square foot than real estate listing descriptions without them,” according to Nicolas Beto, analytic data analyst with realtor.com®.
If you list homes in California, however, avoid using these terms. The study found a 21 percent decrease in prices of real estate listing descriptions using them.
Instead, find a way to incorporate a reference to barbecuing. This goes for Arizona and Utah agents as well. The study finds that in Utah, listings that mention “barbecue” (or variants of the word) cost nearly 60 percent “more per square foot than the typical home” statewide. In Arizona, it’s 33 percent more.
The “largest listing price premiums,” however, went to listings that touted outdoor showers. Apparently, homes with this feature, and a listing description that highlights it, have nearly twice the listing price of homes without it.
Finally, backyard fireplaces and pits are popular features to mention. Especially in Indiana, North Carolina, California and Idaho.
We all know that adding a pool to a home doesn’t necessarily increase its value. We also know that in some regions, a home without a pool won’t be worth as much as nearby homes with one.
Although the study doesn’t mention Las Vegas, the city is the perfect example of this rule.
If most of the homes in the neighborhood have pools and your listing doesn’t, it will sell for less than nearby homes. Arizona, California, Florida and Hawaii have pretty much the same situation (at least in the warmer regions).
The phrase that pays here, at least according to realtor.com’s research, is “entertainer’s pools.” We kind of think that folks in Vegas and L.A. might be a bit confused by this term what will all the wealthy entertainers (celebs) who live in the area.
Be that as it may, it turns out that just the mere mention of a pool “adds value to a home,” in these areas, with “gains of at least 14% per square foot.”
Realtor.com’s study was conducted in May 2018, so balmy weather wasn’t exactly the norm over many of the regions surveyed. Which leads us to conclude that these are brilliant late-winter/early-spring listing description “keywords.”
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Ignore the weather and stage to sell
It doesn’t do any good to talk-the-talk if the walk-the-walk of your listing description fails. Despite the polar vortex that may still be hanging around in your neck of the woods, stage the home as if it’s summer.
If you do your own staging, this will be a snap. Otherwise, you’ll have to either talk your sellers into hiring a stager or convince them to go shopping and stage it themselves.
Start at the front door by ditching the winter wreath for something more evocative of summer. We like this one at GrandinRoad.com and this sunflower pineapple wreath available at Etsy.
While you’re at the front door, how about a summery door mat? Amazon.com has a big selection of them. If the sellers have a boot tray out front, stick a couple of pairs of colorful flip-flops in it.
But, it’s the backyard that is of special interest to these summer-minded buyers. Especially on open house day, light up that fire pit or throw some fake shrimp or a faux lobster on the barbie, set the outdoor table with fake cocktails (patio cocktail glasses with water died with blue food coloring and cheesy umbrellas on the rim), some patio dining ware and you’re good to go.
Check out party supply stores and the craft section at Walmart (they have amazing fake fruit) for other ideas.
Pools are typically still buckled up tight, at least in cold climes, but you can stage the area by setting up outdoor seating and draping it with towels. Use a colorful, stand-up patio umbrella to keep the vignette from getting soaked.
Mentions of “pool” in your real estate listing descriptions, however, scores big points with buyers in Hawaii, Nevada, California and Arizona – all places where you won’t have to fake it. Ensure the pool is sparkling clean and staged to be the focal point of the backyard.
Wow – we don’t know about you, but all this talk about barbecuing and swimming pools has us counting the days until summer (or maybe looking for instant gratification with a trip to Hawaii).
Owner & Operator,
The Elite Group
Largest Home Inspection Company in North AmericaBest Selling Author“Secrets Of Top Producing Real Estate Agents: And How To Duplicate Their Success.”