Real Estate

First Impressions & Listing Presentation

First impressions are important, especially in real estate. Follow these six steps to ensure your home captures the perfect buyer.

First impressions are important, especially in real estate. Even though the Iowa City Area housing market is a strong seller’s market, it is still imperative to capture the homebuyer’s attention as soon as they click the listing online or walk through the front door. In order for a seller to achieve top dollar for their home, presentation is everything. For many home buyers, it is love at first sight. So we strive to make every aspect of a property listing as enticing as possible. Here are our six steps to success:

1. Readying the Home

First and foremost, the home has to be market-ready. Although it is work on you as a seller, it is an important and worthwhile step. What exactly does it mean to ready your home for sale? The big tasks to tackle are de-cluttering, de-personalizing, and cleaning. You want your home to shine, and the goal is to make your home feel like it has been lightly lived in. This helps the buyer envision themselves living in the home and making it their own. For a complete list of to-do’s, click here!

2. Staging

Especially in vacant homes, staging is one major key to success. Many buyers have a hard time imagining how furniture can be arranged in an empty space. With staging, that issue is resolved. Also, it creates a warm and welcoming environment, which can attribute to a strong first impression. In fact, 85% of staged homes sold for 5-23% over the listing price (Source: Evolve Staging & Design). Staging is a service we pay for, because we know that it works!

3. Professional Photography

Home-buyers are primarily looking online, so it is critical to have professional and polished photos. Ultimately, these photos are a key deciding factor to whether a buyer schedules a showing to see a property. The more attractive the photos, the more activity a listing will have. We have always used a professional photographer to capture our listings, because your listing has to shine online in order for it to sell quickly and at top dollar!

Rachel + Molly assemble a detailed binder to help your home shine.

4. Videography

Professional photos can captivate a buyer, but videography can really submerse a buyer in the property. The video tour doesn’t have to be long; it just needs to be enough of a teaser to get the buyer to schedule a showing. Plus, including a video on a listing can increase exposure on sites like Zillow. We have found that with professional photography and videography, a listing’s exposure online is maximized.

5. Exposure

After the work of readying your home, you want as many buyers as possible to see your listing. We are members of both Iowa City and Cedar Rapids Area MLS systems, which means all of our listings get double the exposure, reaching 1000+ real estate agents. On top of that, our listings also feed to all real estate websites, reaching thousands of buyers. With the sheer amount of exposure our listings receive online and on social media, that’s why it is so very important to really have them shining!

We make sure your listing shines.

6. Showing Presentation

Marketing your home doesn’t stop online; we also believe it continues into your home. It is critical that your home presents well while being shown to potential buyers. Few homes are bought sight unseen, so you have to make sure the home showcases itself as well in person as online. We provide sleek flyers inside and outside the property, a binder with all information a buyer needs to make an offer, and courtesy shoe-covers to ensure your home stays clean. We want buyers to be impressed from the instant they click the listing online to the moment they walk out the door (hopefully ready to write an offer)!

Strong First Impressions Lead to Strong Offers

With these six steps, we have seen great success. Just last year, on average, our listings sold for 2% over the listing price. That’s 3% higher than the average sales price to list price ratio for the entire market. Plus, that’s thousands of dollars more in our sellers’ pockets! We love what we do, and our passion shines through in every detail of the transaction. We strive to make the listing process as seamless and profitable as possible! If you’re looking to list your home this year, we’d love to have the opportunity to represent you!


Rachel + Molly see to key details, like provider shoe covers during showings.