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BOB MOON: The sagging housing market has started a new marketing trend: Sellers and realtors are posting video tours of their homes for sale on YouTube and iTunes. And a few hosting sites have been cropping up, like Wellcomemat.com, trying to give sellers an edge in this buyer's market. Curt Nickisch hits play for us.
CURT NICKISCH: For five months last summer, Pierre Bouchard never got a single offer for his half-million New Hampshire home.
Last month, he re-listed — different realtor, different story, thanks to this steamy online video tour.
VIDEO TOUR: Wow! Right out of magazine! Space, light, high ceilings, skylight. All highlight the Jacuzzi and the walk-in glass enclosed shower. Complete with multiple shower heads.
Fred Light produced the video. He says these YouTube clips trump the old, blurry 360-degree virtual tours.
FRED LIGHT: People buy houses based on emotion. And video creates emotion.
He charges realtors about $500 for each. A few brokers are starting to make their own, more basic walkthroughs with a digital camera.
Light says the rest just don't get it.
LIGHT: They don't have a clue about marketing, because they never had to market a house. Their idea of marketing is plugging a sign in the front yard and giving the listing to the secretary, and tomorrow you got 10 offers. Those days are gone. Sellers know that's not enough anymore.
So sellers desperate to unload their homes are turning to realtors like Jeff Groper of Boston, who's willing to shell out the extra money. He says it's worth it.
JEFF GROPER: Better, quicker sales.
Because Groper says, this way instead of taking a buyer to showing after showing, the open house comes to their home computer.
GROPER: If the kitchen isn't the way they want it or the master bedroom isn't large enough, then they don't want to waste their time, saving the seller time from having to vacate the house, and also the broker's. Time is money, for everybody.
And hopefully earnest money from a buyer soon for seller Pierre Bouchard.
PIERRE BOUCHARD: Yeah, I hope so. Ultimately, it's going to prove itself in a sale! But on the other hand we have an offer, and that's more than we did in the five months previously, so, that's good.
Plus, Bouchard says he's enjoying living in his house more now — the video reminded him how hot it is, even in a cool housing market.
In Boston, I'm Curt Nickisch for Marketplace.