VO [00:00:06] You’re listening to REINCheck with Andrea Rice, Contracts and Industry Specialists at REIN, where you get the latest member news and information delivered straight from the source, REIN MLS.
Andrea Rice [00:00:21] Hello and welcome to REINCheck. I’m your host, Andrea Rice, and today we are checking in with local real estate professional Lisa Frates and REIN.com’s very own Ellen Montemurno. Lisa has been in the real estate industry here in Hampton Roads for over 30 years. And Ellen has been with REIN.com for 17 coming up on 18 years. So, Ellen and Lisa, thank you so much for being here today.
Lisa Frates [00:00:50] Thank you for having me.
Ellen Montemurno [00:00:51] Happy to be here.
Andrea Rice [00:00:53] And so today we’re going to be discussing the importance of highlighting your home’s features when you list your home for sale so you can reach the greatest number of potential buyers. Lisa as a real estate professional, what can sellers do to make sure that their agent is aware of all the features their home has to offer.
Lisa Frates [00:01:12] I think that they need to work closely with their agent and looking at the different options that they can select that really describes their property. You know, there are some things that the agents are going to see when they’re walking through the property, but again, pointing out some of those special features, if they’ve done improvements to it or there are things that maybe is not able to recognize. And then also I would probably ask to kind of proof that listing before it goes live and to the public so that they can make sure everything’s in there correctly.
Andrea Rice [00:01:43] Right. Good point. Don’t just sign, sign, sign. Like, get this listing up. Like, really go over it and make sure that your home is being represented in the best possible light. I know I was recently reading an article called or entitled Eleven Home Features Today’s Buyers Want Most by Andrea Taylor and it said that 89% of home buyers are looking for energy-efficient features. And so, your agent may not be able to readily see some of these features, like the Energy Star appliances, anything that is, you know, is going to be energy efficient that’s really appealing to people looking to buy a home. How is this going to save me money or how is it environmentally friendly? So those may be examples of things that you want to point out that maybe an agent walking through your house may not readily see but that can make your home more attractive. And Ellen as someone who understands the data and how this information is sent to REIN.com. Can you give us your take on the importance of highlighting all the features that a particular home may have?
Ellen Montemurno [00:02:46] Well, Andrea, the truth for sellers is that home buyers start their home search online. REIN.com gets 38,000 visits or more each day from people who are searching for homes. And statistics prove that over at least 80% of home buyers shop online before they ever come in contact with a real estate agent who probably really knows the listing and could give those specific details. So, if the feature that the home buyer is looking for isn’t included in the listing itself or online, the consumer may miss out on that seller’s home. And this really hurts the buyer and the seller. I mean, a lot of times by the time a buyer connects with an agent, he or she already has a list of homes that they want to go see. So today, sellers and listing agents have to meet buyers where they are. And that’s on REIN.com.
Andrea Rice [00:03:32] Good point, because that’s going to have the most up-to-date information. I know me personally at the place I live right now has very, very small closet space. So, I know the next home that I purchase will have walk-in closets. So, you know, want to make sure that for me it’s going to be a walk-in closet, but for someone else or another buyer, it could be something else. So, anything that sets your home apart, you know, and could be that perfect match for a buyer. It’s about getting the seller to the buyer and the buyer to the right house.
Ellen Montemurno [00:04:05] To echo that, Andrea, when my husband and I moved to Virginia and we needed to buy a house, we had already been living in another house down in Florida for three years. And by that time, we had a really clear must have and must not have lost. So, our poor agent, she must have shown us over 30 houses. And as soon as we got there, the house had a future we didn’t want, but the agent that listed it never mentioned it. So, we didn’t know that until we actually arrived at the house. So, it kind of wasted our time. And I know it frustrated our poor agent who drove us to house after house after house. And back then, homesite searches weren’t that available. Right now, we live in a world where people are just used to being able to do their own research before they go and buy something. And that’s especially true with home buying. Again, you know, with over 80% of those consumers starting online. If the information’s not there, people are going to gloss right over it and not pick that house that could have been potentially a great match.
Ellen Montemurno [00:04:58] Those are some good points. And I was just thinking, so we’re kind of letting the sellers know that we can get very detailed about their property and list a lot of special features. And then the flip side of that is for a buyer. If a buyer is doing a little search, a lot of these public websites have the capability of doing a search in there. But what I have found is either the properties may have already gone under contract and that site may not have the latest information or a hot new listing came on the market and if they’re looking at a particular site that maybe isn’t a site from their real estate agent or from REIN.com, they’re going to miss out on the hot new listings. And then another feature that I wanted to point out to buyers is that your agents can do a very granular, detailed search. I mean, they can get really specific. I’ve seen sites where you can list what high school districts you want to be in, but we can go all the way down to elementary and middle school. You can pick the neighborhoods that you want to live in and just do a search for those neighborhoods. If you’re looking for a house that has bedrooms with the attached bathrooms, the en suite, that is something that we can search for. Even as particular as you want to be on a Cul-De-Sac, you want a fenced-in yard or even an open concept. I’m hearing buyers saying they really like that open floor plan and the agents can, you know, contact your favorite agent that you’re going to work with and they can set you up on a search and you’re going to get the hottest properties. You’re going to get, if it’s under contract, then you’re not going to waste your time on that one and you’re going to get a very detailed search for the features that you want.
Andrea Rice [00:06:39] Yeah, good point, Lisa. Yeah, REIN.com is going to have the most up-to-date things. But like you said, find your local real estate professional and you can do that through REIN.com as well. And they will be able to dive much deeper into the specifics of what a listing has to offer and what you’re searching for so that, you know, buyers can find that perfect match. And again, that’s why it’s so important for the sellers to highlight everything that’s wonderful about their properties so that when they when those buyers go in and they’re really drilling down to find out which house is going to be best for me, that you hit as many buyers as possible. And buyers, to Ellen’s point, not only was it a waste of time to see listings that weren’t going to be a match for Ellen and their real estate agent, then that’s a waste of time for the seller, too, because they have to leave their house for the showing. So, the more information you can provide, the better, and REIN.com and your local real estate agent are going to be able to help you fine-tune that even more. Before we sign off, you guys have anything else that you would like to add?
Ellen Montemurno [00:07:41] Andrea, I just have to say, even though I work at the MLS, I don’t practice real estate. I just kind of work with the information on the database. But because I work at the MLS, I have special access to all these features and functions. But at the end of the day, I can go on any site, I can go on the MLS and I can look at the features of that house. But the list agent and the owner are the only people that can really tell you the story. So, I’m so thankful that REIN.com provides the directory of the real estate professionals who are just essential in helping the process, both on the seller side of the buyer side. You know the fact that we have so many qualified real estate professionals in the area and there are all listed right on REIN.com for you. I think that’s just super convenient for our real estate community.
Andrea Rice [00:08:25] Yeah, I agree. I agree. Thank you, Ellen.
Lisa Frates [00:08:28] And I just wanted to add that every single site out there that gets information about properties that are for sale and that are under contract, they get it for REIN. So why not go to the direct source?
Andrea Rice [00:08:41] Right.
Lisa Frates [00:08:41] Hot off the press, right?
Andrea Rice [00:08:43] Yeah, that’s right. Well, thank you, Lisa. Thank you, Ellen. Thank you for helping us talk about the importance of highlighting the home’s features and trying to match up the buyers and sellers to get everyone that perfect match. And for all those out there listening, be sure to go to REIN.com for the most up-to-date property listings in Hampton Roads and also to find your local real estate expert.
VO [00:09:10] You’ve been listening to REINCheck with Andrea Rice. Stay in the know from those who know. Delivered straight from the source, REIN MLS.