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Home Measurement & Floor Plan Services & the MLS

March 23, 2011

Home measurement and floor-plan companies are spreading like wildfire across the country. They are the way of the future in the real estate business and the MLS. The ads are enticing and explain how agents will make more money by including these services as a regular part of their marketing plan. However, these ads are a little different from some others; they are attracting attention because they actually provide what the promise. The results are consistent, regardless of the market. In this ever-changing online marketplace, everybody is looking for the best visual tools; what makes them stand out online. If you are a Home Seller getting ready to put your home on the market, when you see the websites with detailed floor plans, you are automatically drawn to those websites (and agents). The images are an example of good marketing. If you are a Buyer shopping for a new home, you are likely to spend more time at sites that display this higher level of detail. Buyers look at specific properties because of the details available on the internet. And, for listing Agents, once these plans are online, they work for you 24 hours a day – 7 days a week; increasing the exposure of your listing and your company.

Buyers can refer to the floor plan graphics anytime they have a question about the house. The graphic helps the buyer “move-in” the house mentally. These measurement/floor plan services are getting homes sold quicker and for a high price. People feel like they “know” the house before they ever walk in the door. And, after they’ve seen the property in person, buyers can use the plans to place furniture, make decorating decisions, share their ideas with their family, and to better compare homes. Floor plans make listings stand out and provide buyers with valuable information they need to make wise purchase decisions. The sellers are impressed and the buyers are appreciative. Use of these services adds credibility to your professional image. It’s a visual business and this is the perfect visual tool for Realtors®. Video tours help consumers view the property and will continue to be part of the complete marketing plan. However, the actual floor plan allows potential buyers a functional tool to use in their home buying decision.

Instead of just watching a video or looking at a slide show, consumers can print the floor plan, get out their pencil, and turn this “plan” into their new home. Floor plans inspire creativity and make the home shopping process more personal. These services will change the future of buying and selling real estate.

Home measurement and floor-plan companies are the way of the future in the real estate business and will spread across the globe. Beyond the benefits for agents, buyers and sellers; there’s another benefit these services are bringing to the industry. In the real estate business, we often tend to treat “square footage” like a “four-letter” word. Many states have “non-disclosure” policies and square footage details are not listed in MLS or even discussed in public (at least not by agents). In those same markets, appraisers are required by federal law to list a specific square footage total for each comparable sale. And, buyers still want to know the size of the home. This has been a custom for most of the last century and is not likely to change, regardless of how the real estate industry addresses this topic. Ask ten home-owners if they know the size of their home. Their parents knew and so do they.

Along come these new measuring services, many of which provide detailed square footage information along with detailed room dimensions and floor plans. These new “home measurement and floor plan” companies serve dual (equally important) purposes, both of which help agents, appraisers and consumers. They offer the perfect solution to a problem that has grown out of control in the real estate industry; providing Realtors (and their peers) with accurate square footage information, while reducing the liability of the listing Agent. Specialist in the art of measurement, finally giving consumers a new source to reveal accurate square footage details, prior to making any pricing decisions. If these new companies could be properly trained and licensed, they would instantly impact the MLS and raise the level of consumer protect in the home buying process. And, even help to make the mortgage lending process more secure. Stay tuned…

These services provide a golden opportunity.