There was a time when 'curb appeal' meant having a beautiful front yard. Today curb appeal takes place on line, in other words, Curb Appeal 2.0. With a click of the mouse, you are in the house.
That means the first impression the buyer has is online and without any sales pressure. They can quietly look at each room and decide to move forward or click BACK. On REALTOR.com, that decision happens in less than 35 seconds. If the photos of your home don't inspire immediately, you've lost the opportunity to sell to that buyer forever.
A COMPELLING online presentation is the only thing that matters. Newspaper ads don't matter, home magazines don't matter, postcards don't matter. So the real estate agent should be budgeting 1/10% to 2/10$ of the listing price to create that presentation and the bulk of that cost will be staging and photography. So for a $500,000 home, they should be budgeting $500-$1,000 for the staging and photography. If the real estate agent you use is reluctnt to spend any money marketing your home, then why are you even considering hiring them? FSBOs (For Sale By Owner) are already doing it - there are brokers offering fee for services menus where homeowners can pay a fee for MLS listing, a fee for hosting an open house, a fee for staging, photography, etc. If 'full-service' agents aren't prepared to step up to the plate, then in my opinion, they should find another profession. Because selling real estate is a profession, practiced by professionals that strive for excellence. Would you expect anything less from an attorney, surgeon, accountant (hey I own a good calculator), or airline pilot?
Today's real estate market demands one thing above all else: A compelling online presentation of the home. Everything else is secondary because we are now in a "Curb Appeal 2.0" world. With a single click of the mouse, you are now in the house.
Principal Photographer, OnSite Studiosâ„¢ http://www.OnSiteStudios.com
Founder, OnlinePropertyShowcaseâ„¢ http://www.OnlinePropertyShowcase.com/realestate