Physics and Real Estate

avatarthumbnail.jpgPhysics easily was the most difficult class that I ever endured, mostly because it was thoroughly illogical. Quite often what you thought you saw, you didn’t see. And what you thought you knew, you didn’t know.

Take the simple act of picking up a book. If it helps, and if you don’t trust that there’s a legitimate real estate hook coming, you even can make the book one of those high gloss homes magazines that provide you half the information on homes that may or may not still be on the market.

When you pick up a book, you’re not picking up the book. The table actually is pushing the book away. While most everything else of what I learned is long gone, this has stayed with me for the sheer illogic of it all. The table pushed the book away, not the other way around.

The same can be said for searching for real estate and especially online. And especially in an area like the Phoenix real estate market where there’s an abundance of inventory and much of the inventory is alike.

As my good friend Bill Lublin said today as we spoke, people don’t necessarily search real estate sites and newspaper classified ads to find a home. More often than not, they search for reasons to eliminate a given home from consideration.

Think about it … the search isn’t to find the right home, but to eliminate the wrong ones en route to the right one.

It’s a message we often deliver to our sellers when previewing a property prior to taking the listing. Buyers are walking in the front door looking for reasons not to want to buy your house. So what do you do? Don’t give them those reasons.

And the same can apply to the marketing used to sell your home. One of the features of the new Arizona Regional MLS (the MLS serving the greater Phoenix area) is the ability to add unlimited photographs of any property. But how many photos do you really need to have before you cross the line between tantalizing a buyer and giving them cause to say no before they ever walked in the front door.

Let’s take a basic 3-bed, 2-bath 1,200-square foot home. With a great room floor plan, there are eight rooms in the house – great room, three bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen and a laundry room.

How many photos should there be? From a buyers’ perspective the answer would be “as many as possible.” Why? Because they want to make sure there is nothing that would cause them not to want to purchase the home.

But from a sellers’ perspective is that really your objective? Is your goal to simplify the buyers’ search so they don’t have to view your home or to get them to visit your house to at least see everything in person and in context? Does it make sense potentially to lose a sale because you and your agent have chosen to show every electrical outlet in the house?

Real estate marketing plans often become a battle of excess. “Agent A only will take 12 photos of your house but I’ll take 50!” Look around your home and decide for yourself if there are 50 separate scenes worth photographing.

Then keep this in mind … here’s what buyers want to see: the front elevation, backyard, kitchen, great room, family/living or dining rooms, and the master bedroom. They will happily look at more photographs but those rooms usually are enough to help them decide if a house is worth viewing.

Don’t think so? Ask how many times while searching for homes you drove past the front of the house and decided you wanted to see the interior all based on what amounts to just one photograph. If you’re honest, the answer probably is more often than you realized.

Marketing is about attracting buyers. Give them what they want. But don’t give them so much that they don’t feel the need to ever darken your doorway

[tags]Phoenix real estate, real estate marketing[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at