Accurate Listing Provides Smooth Sailing for Home Sellers
Realtors use the multiple listing service (MLS) to publish information about
houses that are for sale and to locate homes for buyers. The MLS is owned
and operated by local Realtors' associations, and only licensed agents who
are members of the association may enter data into the system or view the
houses in it. This is your port of entry into the world of realty, and
buyers will come to your home based on the information found in your
listing. It is essential that the information in your listing be as
accurate and as informative as possible.
Work with your Realtor to make sure the lot size and property lines are
represented correctly, along with the utility and property tax information.
Next, double check that the price of the house is listed correctly. Buyers
also rely heavily on the information presented about bathrooms and bedrooms,
so make sure the information is accurate regarding these rooms. Avoid the
common mistake of counting an attic or basement room as a bedroom when it
does not meet the legal qualifications of a bedroom. Discuss these
qualifications with your Realtor. Sometimes a room must have an escape
route (other than the door to the hallway) for the room to be classified as
Once the basic data about your home is in place, think about the
characteristics of your home, which make it unique. Was there a feature
that attracted you when you originally bought the home--like hardwood
floors, a room with wonderful skylights, or a deck? Be sure to describe
that feature in the "remarks" section of the listing. This is where you can
elaborate on the features of your home, and make bland numerical
descriptions come to life. Be sure to mention any work you've done on your
house, like remodeling the kitchen or rewiring an older home.
Also note selling points like the proximity to public transportation,
schools, and airports. Avoid mentioning items like an older washer and
dryer that you would be willing to leave in the home for the new owners.
Items like these can be used as a bargaining tool during price negotiations.
They allow you to respond to an offer that is too low in price by proposing
to decrease the price of the house slightly, but include the washer and
dryer, as well.
Once your agent has entered all of this information into the MLS, ask for a
copy of the listing. Review the listing for accuracy and then show it to a
few friends, just to be sure you have included all pertinent information.
A listing in the MLS is your link to homebuyers. Finding buyers who want
your type of home and in your price range is essential. An accurate listing
provides you with a solid start to finding a qualified buyer.
Sources: Chris Sicks, The Washington Times.