What Agents Look for When Listing Homes

By Brendon DeSimone

After having toured thousands of homes over 10 years of selling real estate, there are certain things I look for immediately when assessing a property. In general, I’m looking for qualities that will help the home sell quickly — or warning signs it may be a tough sell.

Whether the property is in New York, New Haven or Nevada, here are 5 things I look for when evaluating a property. Keep in mind that these days, first impressions — a real estate agent's as well as those of buyers and sellers — are often formed online.

1. Location

When I see a new listing hit the market, the first thing I consider is its location. I know that if the property is on a prime block in a good neighborhood, it will automatically get a lot of credibility and attention from potential buyers. Conversely, if it’s on a bad block, or even a so-so, or good block in an undesirable neighborhood, it’s going to be a tough sell.

2. Period charm

The next thing I consider is if the property was built during a historic or earlier time period and if so, if it evokes the charm and style of its era. In San Francisco, for instance, you’ve got lots of peaked roof Victorians. In Los Angeles, there are mid-century modern-style homes. And in New York City, brownstones continue to be desirable.

Many buyers will pay more for a property with Old World charm and a type of construction that isn’t done anymore. It’s just not possible to rebuild in, say, the Art Deco or Victorian style, and expect the rebuild to have the same desirability as the original. Bottom line; If you own a piece of history, it will always hold more value than another property that lacks period character or charm, even if the historic property isn’t in the best condition.

3. Curb appeal and first impressions

Curb appeal, in the form of landscaping, the front door, and a front-yard flower garden, used to be the first impression most people had of a home for sale. Nowadays, many people get their first impressions of a home through a property listing or an email from their real estate agent. They may take a virtual tour of every room in the house, look up the sales or permit history, or even Google the seller before setting foot inside the home. And so, curb appeal has gone online, in a sense.

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