Home sellers in Silicon Valley today worry about things they never had to worry about10 years ago, many of which they have little control over. Like what? Much of it has to do with online or web marketing via websites, blogs, web portals and social media sites. Here are a few:
- County records on properties are now public and available online almost everywhere, including permit records, info on the structure and lot size, etc. If the public or county records are incorrect, buyers still use them – so wrong info on home size, bedrooms, baths etc. can hurt market value, as can incomplete or missing permit files online with the city, town or county.
- If the Google street view of the property happened on a bad day (say, the neighbors were having some sort of RV get together and the street was jammed with trucks and motorhomes or the yard happened to be in disarray), it can kill viewings. Buyers and agents may skip that house all together if the “street view” makes it look bad.
- Some websites that display the information on listed homes permit consumers to blog or comment about the home. Consumer comments online can be devastating if the remarks aren’t good!
- If homes need good “social media exposure” to sell for top dollar, how can home owners know what constitutes good social media marketing – especially if I’m not on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn or any of those popular sites? (Do I need to be on every site?)
- Syndicated errors: If a home’s marketing is incorrect on the MLS but corrected later, will all of the sites it was syndicated to get the correction, or will the info stay wrong and cause us harm in marketing the house or condo?
What can consumers do? To begin with, it would be wise to hire someone web-savvy, someone who knows the ropes with internet marketing at a minimum, to help you to navigate these waters. Additionally, it would be smart to work with someone who’s very strongly proactive, who can ferret out errors and work to correct them. Understand that even the web-savvy agent cannot fix all problems, but at least they’ll have a head start on understanding what it takes to address them!
Shameless plug: This is work I often do. I can’t guarantee results as I have no control over the county records or syndication, but I have had good success in this arena and am also well known for successes with social media!