Page 1 of 6 on the "agent full" mls printout of a house recently sold (my listing)If you don’t see the MLS printout on your property when it’s on the market, you could be missing errors and typos that have slipped past your agent.  Or you may simply prefer that certain elements be emphasized over others.  I’m convinced that many Silicon Valley home sellers never view or critique the agent report or comments though – if they did they’d probably have a bit of a heart attack.

Errors and typos are not uncommon.  Once I helped a buyer to purchase a 3 bed, 2 bath home which was incorrectly represented in the multiple listing service as 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths.  This of course was to our advantage, but the seller probably had less traffic, and ultimately a lower sales price, because of the data entry error.It should have been caught by the agent, of course, but the seller too should have been more responsible. No one knows your home like you do!

Sometimes the typos are funny, if unintentionally so.  I saw one house which boasted dual pain windows (makes you wonder!).  A walk in pantry was once said to be a walk in panty. This happens not just on the mls of course.  One friend mentioned to me reading a termite report that said that the wood debris in the crawl space of a home was called “cellulite debris” instead of “cellulose debris”.  Mistakes happen. If you’re the seller, try to find them before they go public – or worse, viral!

The comments sections (most for everyone, but a few for just real estate licensees and members of the MLS) are crucially important to a successful sale – almost as important as having a lot of high quality photographs.   Let me give you an example.  Would you rather have your home described by the first or second set of comments?

  1. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Nice home in great area!!!
  2. Classic, updated & remodeled Victorian on tree lined streets close to SJSU. Large formal entry, remodeled kitchen with granite & profession 6 burner range, large living & dining rooms. Newer furnace. Foundation upgraded in 2005.  Big front porch & private back yard.

These are just examples, of course – but these extremes are seen all the time – comments which say absolutely nothing and those which provide compelling details.  Then there are the ones which scream out that the seller is desperate: “Bring any offer!”  Really? Would you say that at an open house, in front of your client?  I bet not.

Perhaps most important of all are the photographs.  Biggest crime is having no photos or just one or two of the exterior of the property (I even see this with beautiful new construction!). Did you know that we can now upload more than 20 photographs of each listing to the mls – and that from there they can be syndicated to many major real estate portals?  It’s hugely important to take advantage of this.

Next in line of major mishaps with the mls is poor or dark images or houses or condos which are photographed messy (in need of staging and possibly cleaning).  If you want to see really terrible photos (so bad you have to laugh), log onto Facebook and search for the group “Really bad MLS photos”.  It is funny to Realtors only because we see other agents post these types of things and we wonder why their clients don’t fire them on the spot.  I’m sure it’s because the home seller never looks at the MLS printout at all.