Real Estate

Does Real Estate Video Help to Sell Houses?

This is still an open question to many agents and brokers, judging from the low percentage of listings that feature videos of the property. The reason for this may be the cost of having a video made--$200 or more, still not a lot in my opinion--or perhaps it's the fact that most agents do not have the equipment or expertise to make videos themselves. I did not find any definitive studies of the subject online but found a few pages and documents below that addressed the utility of video in real estate or, more broadly, in any business.

The link below is to an article posted in 2012 concerning the use of video in selling homes costing less than $500k. It quotes the general manager of a company in Australia that owns the well known site,, who states that listings with a video receive 400% more enquiries than those that don't.

Videos for...

Sell your Home with Photographs

It's an oft stated maxim that good quality photographs give a home for sale a competitive advantage in the Real Estate market. Below is research that backs up this statement.

There is a well-known study performed by Redfin Corp on Boston and Long Island sales in the 2009 - 2010 period. There was also a Wall Street Journal summary of the research. The study compares the difference between asking and final price of homes whose listing photos were created with a point-and-shoot camera versus those in which a Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) was used. Properties that had the higher quality DSLR photos sold for more and were viewed more often than the point-and-shoot properties.

According to the 2012 NAR Profile of Buyers...

SEO Tools that are Useful for Real Estate

To say that are many SEO tools on the web is an understatement. There's at least a gazillion, maybe 2 gazillion. So, how do you choose? Below is a list of tools I have used with some remarks on each. Some tools are free and some have a monthly or yearly subscription fee. You may want to try a for-pay tool at some point, even if it's only for a month. My general advice is try some tools and see which ones you like before investing. Further advice is to concentrate on the content of your site above all and don't obsess over page ranking for keywords. That said, you shouldn't ignore SEO either.

Google Webmaster Tools
Not an SEO tool as such but does include SEO-specific information. It shows you html improvements that you could make to your html such as eliminating duplicate titles and meta-descriptions. It has a relatively complete list of backlinks to your site and also can display internal links. Search queries in which your site has been listed and the rank are...

Buying versus Renting

A report published by economist Jed Kolko of Trulia in March of 2013 states that on average it is 44% cheaper to own a residential property than to rent a similar property in the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the US. In Philadelphia, it is 40% cheaper to buy than to rent. The report considers the following in arriving at this conclusion:

  • Similar homes in the similar neighborhoods were compared, not the average rent and average sale price of homes overall.

  • Initial and future costs of renting and buying were considered including maintenance, insurance, taxes, price and rent appreciation and inflation

  • One time costs such as closing costs, security deposits, etc. were included as well

  • The initial set of assumptions were that a buyer put down 20%, took out a 3.5% 30 year mortgage, was in the 25% tax bracket and itemized deductions on their income tax.

The prices of owning and renting were closest in...