Although the volume of home sales is below last year’s figures, most homes are still selling. Of course, home sellers would prefer to have a fast home sale. When meeting with potential listing agents, home owners are typically overwhelmed by agents promoting their broker’s technology. But the research is clear that it’s not technology that sells homes, but rather your MLS listing content and the audience that can sell your home fast.
Three years ago, I introduced cutting edge research by Allen, Cadena, Rutherford & Rutherford (Effects of real estate brokers’ marketing strategies: Public open houses, broker open houses, MLS virtual tours, and MLS photographs; The Journal of Real Estate Research; 2015; 37(3), 343-369). Although the study focused on the listing agent’s motivations about spending money on promoting your home, it did shed light on the effectiveness of marketing staples such as: broker open houses, public open houses, MLS photos, and MLS virtual tours. Although these tactics may not promote a fast home sale, the study revealed that all four methods used together positively influence the home sale price.
They found that having six or more MLS photos increases the probability of a selling your home, as well as positively influencing the sale price. Having a virtual tour can decrease the home’s time on market as well as increasing the probability of selling. Having open houses can help sell your home at a higher price, but can take longer to sell. Contrary to conventional wisdom, having public open houses can increase your home’s time on market up to twenty-five days, while reducing the chances of it selling by 6.1 percent! Broker open houses also adds to the time on market, however increases the likelihood of selling your home. The conclusion was that all four tactics should be considered as a package if your goal is to get top dollar. However, if your goal is a fast home sale, your focus should be elsewhere.
Do pictures help with a fast home sale? A number of studies found that MLS photos and virtual tours have positive effects to home sale price, but are conflicted with regard to time on market. However, a study conducted by Benefield, Cain & Johnson (On the Relationship Between Property Price, Time-on-Market, and Photo Depictions in a Multiple Listing Service; The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics; 2011; 43(3), 401–422) indicated that having more photos of the home’s interior can increase the time on market.
A study published this year suggests that getting more real estate agents to view your MLS listing can sell your home faster. Allen, Dare, & Lingxiao (MLS Information Sharing Intensity and Housing Market Outcomes; The Journal of Real Estate Finance & Economics; 2018; 57(2), 297-313) found that just increasing the MLS listing view by one unit can increase the probability of selling your home by 5.7 percent, increase the sale price by 0.2 percent, and reduce time on market by 1.6 days.
A fast home sale
So, what does all this research mean to you if you’re selling your home? First, consider that your agent’s marketing strategy will certainly affect your home’s sale price and days on market. While possibly helping to get a better sale price, the research has demonstrated that having a broad marketing plan could increase your home’s time on market. To decrease the days on market and increase the probability of a sale, pay attention to the pictures and audience. Make sure your agent places high-definition photos of your home in the MLS, but limiting shots to the most relevant. Also, make sure your agent has a plan to get your MLS listing in front of other agents.
Disclaimer. This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. Readers should not rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or render specific advice. Readers should consult with an attorney regarding local real estate laws and customs as they vary by state and jurisdiction. Using this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws.