For Real Estate Professionals

6 Things Buyers Want in an Agent

March 24, 2014

You always ask buyers what they’re looking for in a home, but have you ever thought about what they’re looking for in an agent? In order to ensure that you convince buyers that you’re the agent who can get the job, you need to have a deep understanding of what they are looking for. Here are the six major things that buyers want in an agent.

1. They Want to Trust You

Doctor, mechanic, real estate agent: these three people in your life that you need honesty from. And when it comes to you, an agent, sometimes you have to work even harder to gain trust because of negative experiences that buyers may have had with agents, not to mention the horror stories they’ve heard from friends and family. Reassure buyers from your first meeting that their needs are your top priority and that they should never hesitate to share their questions and concerns with you. continue reading

Dream Open House: Old School in Winnetka, or the Perfect Art Collector’s House, $949K


When: Sunday, March 23 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m
Where: 1250 Hill Street, Winnetka, Ill.
How Much: Recenty reduced to $998K from $1.050M, the 2-bed, 3-bath house came on the market in September of 2013
Listing Agent:Joan Conlisk, Koenig & Strey Real Living,
Bellevue, Washington
More Information: See the full listing!

What: Built in 1952, this one-story classic Georgian-Regency Style house is a throwback to more polite times, a time capsule of when people dressed up and had cocktails– and with only two bedrooms, would have been referred to as a “couple’s house.” The formal spaces may be intimidating, but the rooms could easily accommodate an art collection. Kids? Probably not. continue reading

6 Photos Every Listing Should Have (and You May Forget)

Tara-Nicholle Nelson
March 20, 2014

So, you got the listing. You loaded it all up online. And it looks pretty good, right? A “nice” description with “nice” pictures might make a “nice” first impression. But that might also be its last impression, given buyers’ approach to ruling listings in and out.

Make sure you include these listing photos with your real estate listingsBuyers’ approach is, in a word, ruthless. Buyers have lots of online listings to get through, and very, very limited time. They review online listings against a backdrop of lots of priorities and considerations battling for their mindspace: their financial priorities, family plans, space needs, aesthetics and the must-haves and deal-breakers of anywhere from 1 to 4 people—or more. So, when they peruse the hundreds of listings on Trulia in your area, maybe yours will make it into the 40 properties they favorite.

But then they cull the list. And narrow again. And narrow again to get down to, say, 15. They send those to their agent. And the agent cute those in half to get to the list of homes they want to show that weekend. Both buyers and agents are prone to cutting properties that look “nice,” but may or may not have critical deal-making features, when the features simply aren’t photographed.

So, your job is not just to get your listing noticed, or onto the list of 40. It’s also to make sure your listing is not one of the 25 that gets cut before Madame Buyer ever gets in the door. Trulia listings can have unlimited listing photos each, so shoot away! Here is a short list of oft-omitted pics that should make it into every single one of your online listings.

1. Front of House

I know. Seems super basic. But the truth is, there are lots of listings on the interwebs that don’t include any listing photos of the home’s exterior elevation, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the agent’s rationale for not including a front exterior image is as simple as a telephone pole or electric lines obstructing the view of the home or that there was a dumpster or construction truck blocking the house the day pics were taken.

Nonetheless, today’s increasingly savvy online home buyer interprets the lack of a front of house pic as a red flag that they should be afraid of the property: very afraid.

2. Backyard

You only need to house hunt with a couple of clients with backyard musts to begin to understand how many otherwise well-crafted online listings, some which contain literally dozens of interior images, lack images of a home’s outdoor space. Buyers who have pets, children, hot tubs, urban farming fantasies or some combination of the above will want to narrow down the online listings they decide to visit to those which seem likely to suit their outdoor space needs.

Failing to include images of the backyard is a shortcut to having your listing de-prioritized or even cut entirely from the viewing lists of some serious buyers, especially if there is ample inventory of properties with abundant yard space among your competition.

3. Bathrooms

Bathrooms, and the amenities they have or lack, rise to deal-breaker level for a surprisingly large number of home buyers. Buyers come to listings and to their property viewing wish list with all sorts of questions about bathrooms on their minds:

  • spa-like or spartan
  • shower, bath or both
  • single or dual vanities
  • how suitable is the space for kitties—or kiddies?
  • can it be modified for family members with disabilities or decreasing mobility due to age.

One or two simple listing photos for each of your listings’ bathrooms will help answer these questions.

4. Curb appeal

What does the house look like from the curb? Sometimes, curb appeal pics are the same as pics of the front elevation of the home. But many, many times it’s not, as with homes that are situated uphill, downhill or significantly set back from the street. Inquiring buyers want to know what the house looks like from the curb. Show ‘em.

5. Kitchen pics showing islands, counters and appliances

Kitchens make and kill deals all day, everyday. Buyers who are specifically looking for updated or high-end appliances, family-style islands and chic countertop materials like concrete or quartz are highly likely to opt in to seeing properties that showcase them, even if they don’t screen out every home that doesn’t have them.

6. Built-ins

Built-in closet organizing systems, recycling centers, desks, drawers, dining room hutches, breakfast nooks, garage organizers and the like can be major selling points and differentiators, especially in the minds of order-craving buyers. Make sure your listing pics show them at their best advantage.

Tell us! What listing photos do you always include?

Want to learn more listing photo best practices? Read up on the 5 listing photos that attract the best buyers here.

Apply to America’s Best Real Estate Agents Annual Ranking

March 20, 2014

real_trends_trulia_logoTrulia is proud to announce our exclusive partnership with REAL Trends for America’s Best Real Estate Agents Annual Report. Agents featured in the ranking will receive more exposure than ever on Trulia! Be sure to apply by March 31st!

America’s Best Real Estate Agents Annual Report, published by REAL Trends, is the definitive source for America’s best real estate agents. Every year, the ranking is featured extensively by major real estate publications and local media channels – and viewed by thousands of buyers and sellers across the country. With Trulia and REAL Trends joining forces this year, it’s your chance to get even more exposure and credibility with your top peers and consumers alike. continue reading

5 Secret Reasons Buyers Hate Homes (And What Agents Can Do)

March 17, 2014

There can be a thin line between love and hate when it comes to buyers’ responses to properties. Even if the home seems like a great fit on paper, sometimes there are issues that cause an almost visceral reaction among buyers. Here are some common issues and how (when possible) to deal with them.

1. The neighbors freak them out.

No matter how beautifully a home is staged, there’s a factor that will always be beyond your control: the neighbors. Whether it’s their junky property, scary pets, or just plain bizarre behavior, would-be neighbors can quickly (and irreversibly) turn off prospective buyers. As soon as they start envisioning the years of bitter battles over tree roots and worse, buyers will see turning down a property as dodging a bullet. continue reading

Announcing Our National Ad Campaign, The Moment of Trulia

Today, we’re excited to announce the launch our new national advertising campaign, The Moment of Trulia!

This national advertising campaign represents a $45 million investment that we’re making to grow our business, reach more consumers, and make Trulia a household name. This campaign will be everywhere that the most coveted buyers and sellers are—from television and radio ads on the biggest networks to outdoor billboards in the hottest markets.

For real estate agents, the key to a thriving business is being able to connect with as many quality home buyers and sellers as possible. At Trulia, we’ve worked to provide agents with the tools and business solutions so that they can do exactly that.

We’re investing in our business to help you grow your business. continue reading

Dream Open House: Just High Up Enough in Seattle, $1.555M


When: Saturday, March 15 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm
Where: 1521 2nd Avenue, #904
How Much: $1.555M, HOAs $1075
Listing Agent:Michael David, Coldwell Banker Bain,
Bellevue, Washington
More Information: See the full listing!

What: On the market a week, this 2-bed, 1.75-bath condominium has a glorious view down onto Pike Place Market, across Elliot Bay and out to the Olympic Mountains. Built in 2008, the condo also has a media room/office space, an enclosed sunroom plus that all-important deeded parking space. continue reading

Free Handout: Break Out of the Box with these 5 Smart Marketing Strategies

March 14, 2014

For real estate agents, the way you market yourself to potential buyers and sellers can be the difference between a record-breaking year and a series of missed opportunities! Now is the time to reinvest back into your business to ensure that you have a solid stream of stellar clients all year long.

Download this free Trulia Training handout! Having trouble? E-mail!

How to Convince Buyers Your Listing is a Bargain

Tara-Nicholle Nelson
March 13, 2014

When you’re trying to understand or influence human behavior—as you might do when, say, listing and marketing a home for sale—it’s important to respect the distinction between what people should do and what they actually do do.

This is the difference between economics and behavioral economics. Classical economics theory is based on the belief that people will behave rationally and that we can use reason and logic to predict the movements of the market. But the fields of behavioral economics and behavioral finance were created in the hopes of gaining a better understanding of how real people actually make real financial decisions in real life.

Here are a handful behavioral finance must-knows for listing agents, to help manage your clients’ mindsets and help them understand why and how you’re marketing your home to buyers. continue reading

Agent Beware: 5 Signs of a Difficult Client

March 10, 2014

As agents, you can’t expect to agree with sellers on everything, at least not from the get-go. But there are certain telltale signs of clients that you should avoid at all costs, as they will only drain your time, energy, and sanity. Find out why these clients aren’t worth the listing.

1. They’re Overconfident

It’s difficult for a lot of sellers to evaluate their home objectively. After all the money, time, and work they’ve invested, it’s not uncommon for them to overestimate what their home is actually worth or underestimate the amount of time it will take to sell. You can attempt to give overconfident sellers a reality check by taking steps like giving them buyer and broker feedback and walking them through a comparative market analysis. But if your potential clients still aren’t humbled by the facts, you might want to move on.

2. They’re Incapable of Moving On

When certain clients seem impossible to please, it’s not you—it’s them. Some people are listing not because they want to, but because other people in their lives—like family or financial advisors—are telling them they should. It’s not worth it to try and figure them out. Don’t waste your time with people who aren’t really motivated sellers. continue reading