Nine Ways to Be Your Clients' Best Resource and Take Your Listings to the Next Level | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

At March’s YPN Breakfast, we heard from a panel of experts about ways you can be your clients best resource and make your listing stand out in today’s market. Here are the key takeaways from David Cieslak, Signature Staging, Max Eydelman, VIS Home, and Ryan Foley, Spyglass Property Inspections.

Staging

Tip 1: Add a professional stager to your team.

A professional stager can work closely with homeowners so you can focus on other aspects of the sale.

Tip 2: Advise homeowners to do a deep clean.

Having your clients go though closets and clear out clutter gives the stager a cleaner slate, and it makes your clients’ future move a little easier.

Tip 3: Take professional photos.

Staging takes in mind photos, and this is most often the first impression a buyer has of a home. If you’re going to invest in staging, it needs to come across well in all aspects of your marketing.

Photography

Photographs are the most important piece to your listing’s marketing strategy. Your listing’s first showing is online, and photographs are your first and most lasting impression. Make it a good one.

Tip 4: Photographers know how to photograph – not how to sell properties.

Be sure to point out the most “sell-able” features of a property to the photographer to ensure they are featured prominently in the images. Does the listing have a recently remodeled designer kitchen or a wet bar in the rec room? Be sure to tell the photographer! They can highlight these features and help you sell the listing. Photographers know HOW to photograph a property, not WHAT should be photographed.

Tip 5: Arrive 10-20 minutes before the photo appointment to prepare the listing.

Be sure to remove the following items from visible areas so they are not in your listing’s photos:

  • Dog bowls
  • Remote Controls
  • Garbage Cans
  • Bathroom Scales
  • Toothbrushes
  • Soap Dishes
  • Dish Caddies
  • Dish Towels (specifically on oven handles – unless the REALTOR®/homeowner explicitly says they want them there)
  • Anything that detracts from the overall appearance of the home and interior i.e. evidence of ongoing construction, debris, open containers of food, etc.

Tip 6: Preview the photos when the photographer is on-site.

Be sure to communicate with the photographer about what features you want highlighted and how you feel about the photographs.While the lighting conditions of a photo can be altered in post-production, composition cannot. Your listing’s photos are the most important aspect of marketing. If you care about how your property is presented online, this is not the time to make small talk with sellers or catch-up on your email. Be sure that your listing is getting the photo shoot it deserves.

Inspection

Tip 7: Ensure the general staples of the home are maintained.

Talk to your clients and ensure that GFCI outlets are installed, there aren’t any loose toilets and all plumbing fixtures are secure and not leaking.

Tip 8: Check window seals.

Ensure that window seals aren’t broken – this is a major source of energy inefficiency, and a somewhat easy fix.

Tip 9: Check when the HVAC/furnace/AC units were last serviced.

You may want your homeowner to schedule a service prior to the inspection to catch any potential problems ahead of time.