In the span of 30 seconds, a person can:
* Begin to be annoyed waiting for an elevator.
* Get bored with a Web page and click away.
* Fall in love with another.
…. And even fall in love with a house.
For most of my real estate career.. over 30 years now, I have known that a home often sells in 30 seconds. Because of this I have strongly emphasized to my home sellers that the home needs to make an excellent first impression. Here’s the proof.
A new study shows that sellers have just seconds to attract an interested buyer online. Curb appeal should really be thought of as Main Internet Picture Appeal.
The study, by the Institute for Behavioral and Experimental Real Estate at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA., confirms what real estate agents know: The main photograph of the house's exterior is the make-it or break-it feature of online advertising.
According to a new study, internet house shoppers, which today is just about everyone, actually spend 2 seconds evaluating the main picture. If the exterior view grabs them, they'll spend 20 seconds and in that 20 seconds, all things being acceptable, you have a potential buyer.
That's why it's so important to have a great photos available when you're listing your home for sale. The study shows that 95 percent of interested viewers spend 20 seconds looking at the photo of the exterior of a home, suggesting that people 'try on' a home just as if they were shopping for a suit or a dress. The lining might matter, but appearance is primary.
Experts say the photo should be up to date showing the home as it appears today, and showing how the home looks seasonally.
It goes without saying that the main picture should show the home trimmed and swept and ready for company. The study conclusion suggests that if you need to attract people inside, you'll want to spend some money on the outside. If you want to sell, cut down that shrub you've been meaning to take out. Perk up the flowers, plant that evergreen. Then take the photo. According to HGTV, research show that investing in curb appeal (or picture appeal) often returns the most value for the money.
If you are selling a home in the warm months, it doesn't make sense to feature a photo of your home in all its snowy glory. That picture makes it appear that the home has been on the market for a very long time. You might include a snow shot if the home looks especially fetching in the winter, but make sure it isn't the main picture on the page. For spring and summer, stage your main home picture with pots of blooming flowers or ferns. A best practice is to include a photo of your home that matches the season. In fall, feature a picture of your home with that colorful oak. You can even stage your home for fall with simple mums.
Overall, the house hunter will spend 60 percent of his time on the listing viewing photos. If the main photo catches the viewer, he or she will spend up to 56 seconds viewing all the photos online, according to the study.
Interestingly, the next most viewed photo will be the backyard. The viewer will spend 8.23 seconds on that photo, just a tad longer than the those of the living room, which attracts 8.06 seconds. Finally, the master bedroom, kitchen and the master bedroom all attract just under 8 seconds each.
You should consider the pictures on the Internet as important as what the potential buyer sees in person. Researcher Michael Seiler found that 76 percent of viewers next glanced at the property description, like the size and number of bedrooms and baths. After the main picture, overall people spent 20 percent of their time on the description and 20 precedent on the agent's remarks.
Entering the home is another pivotal time. The entry or room they see first can make a lasting impression.
What does all of this mean for buyers? It makes them feel lucky! The manicured yard and pleasing entry won't raise the price of the home, but the buyers know from the outset that the property is in good condition.
They can picture themselves living there.