In the next few weeks, a lot of people will be trying out their brand new smart phones and tablets. And with the help of iPhone and Android apps, some of them are going to be looking for a home to buy as we move into 2013. Zillow, Trulia, REALTOR and many other real estate companies have apps available for both systems. So, more than ever before, buyers are doing a lot of window shopping before they ever leave the comfort of their living room.

This has some important implications for folks with houses on the market. You need to ensure that your listing gives a potential buyer the best possible picture of why they should consider your property at the price you want for it. Whether you’re selling on your own or have the help of a real estate professional, you need to make sure your listing has the following:

A picture is worth a thousand words, and a great picture of your home maybe worth your asking price. As visual creatures, we’re never going to get past that first impression. You must make sure that the photos you use in your listing capture the best possible image of your home. You want a buyer to not just see your home, but see themselves living in your home. If you’re not sure of your photography skills, don’t hesitate to enlist help (or even pay for it) from someone who is a great photographer. You’re not looking for anything tricky or deceptive. But a working knowledge of framing and light can yield a picture that’s just a little better, and captures the eye of browsing buyers.

The words used in your listing are also extremely important. Advertisers know that the right words have a powerful impact. You want the description to strongly sell the best aspects of your house, and to complement and reinforce the photos being used. Longer is not better. Short descriptions that evoke powerful, positive images in a reader’s mind are always best. Also, no one is going to intentionally misspell words or use incorrect grammar, but mistakes happen and wind up in an online listing. You’ll want to make sure to have your listing proof-read for those little mistakes.

Once your listing goes online, you may want to double check how it looks on the web as well as in various real estate apps people download to their smart phones and tablets. You can find iPhone real estate apps here, and Android versions here. You want to make sure the photos and descriptions match what you expect to see, and you might have to make changes to improve what you see. If you’re working with a real estate professional, they’ll help make sure everything looks good. And if you do need some help, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
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