What would you do if you threw a party and no one came? You went to all the expense, blocked out the date and when the big day arrives, not a single soul showed up. And then you realized, “Wow, maybe I should have mailed invitations!” Sound ridiculous? So imagine putting your home on the market, making the necessary repairs and updates, setting a date for an open house and getting the home ready for those first eager buyers! But on the day the home is listed, no one shows up. You wait for the phone to ring from your real estate agent with the news that there are loads of offers to sift through, but there’s nothing. And then you realize, “Maybe I should have hired a real estate agent that will market my house.”
Selling a home in this day and age can be challenging. Of course, establishing the right price is mandatory, but I cannot stress enough the importance of marketing a home. Home selling has changed so much in the past several years, that if you haven’t sold a home recently, and you are ready to list your property, all we can say is it’s a whole new ballgame. Marketing your home is one of the top jobs a real estate agent can do for their client. It is absolutely necessary to expose your home to the widest number of buyers possible. With so much for buyers to choose from, your property must stand out so you can secure plenty of appointments and soon, an offer. It no longer is about putting a listing into the MLS to sell your home.
Why do we keep talking about marketing? Because you can’t believe how poorly some homes are advertised. It’s shocking the poor quality of photos, the lack of an online presence, no virtual tours and the list goes on regarding the mistakes that occur when selling a home. There have been many a time where real estate agents have toured some amazing homes, in the most desirable of neighbourhoods, and yet, there was no effective marketing plan other than local word of mouth. Even before your home hits the market, a full-blown campaign should be underway to focus on your home’s strengths and find those buyers who would love your property as much as you do.
How Will You Market My Home?
That is precisely the question a seller should ask a prospective real estate agent. The first step is to bring your home to the buyer. The latest reports say that 92 percent of buyers start looking for homes on the Internet. This number is growing and that number will soon include virtually everyone that is looking for homes. As we have discussed before, creating that first impression so buyers will click on their mouse to view more of your home, is critical. Do you know that there are websites galore that focus on bad home listing photos? While it’s worth a laugh or two, it really is a wasted opportunity to showcase a home. We’ve all seen the blurry photos, or the ones that show owners unknowingly taking their own picture when snapping a mirror shot. But what is interesting, is why anyone would advertise these photos on a website designed to sell their home? Other bad photos include the ones with pets on the furniture, upside down shots, dark rooms, photos with RV’s and cars in the driveways and the list goes on. The question remains: What buyer will want to make an appointment to see a home that looks dreadful online?
The point is this: hire a real estate agent that takes your home sell as seriously as you do. Professional photos that showcase your home are one of the first orders of business when creating a strong online presence. Once this is done, then it’s time to promote your home in ways that will create the most buzz and exposure. And take this into consideration: Homes that have more than 6 pictures are TWICE as likely to be viewed by buyers than those with fewer listings.
Tell A Friend
In the “old” days, whenever you wanted to share news, you would get on the phone and call one friend at a time to tell them your story. Slowly, word would eventually get around. Today, with the power of the Internet, you can instantly hook up with your friends in a matter of seconds. And often within minutes, news has been shared to people you may not even know. The point is, if you are selling a home, what better way to promote it than to share it with your online friends? You would be surprised how many home sales have resulted because a “friend of a friend” heard about a home online via Facebook or Twitter. It happens all of the time, so these are valuable tools that should not be ignored when discussing a marketing plan with your real estate agent. Ask the following:
“How will you promote my home online?”
“Do you have an active Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest account?”
“How often do you update these sites?”
“How will my house stand out from the rest?”
Buyers are getting very creative with selling their homes on their own. We have even seen buyers create their own videos not only showcasing their homes, but also giving a brief tour of the neighbourhood, focusing on the nearby favourite coffee shops, farmer markets, local restaurants and such, then putting it up on YouTube. These well done videos give buyers an instant overview of the neighbourhood and also shows that the sellers are motivated and eager to sell. As mentioned above, with the number of homes on the market, the goal is to find creative ways to successfully market your home.
Again, marketing your home is a subject frequently discussed on this site because you can’t sell a home without it. Once you have agreed on a listing price, then it’s time to have your real estate agent create a marketing plan that will guarantee buyers will find your home and schedule an appointment. Remember, there’s nothing quite so sad as throwing a party and no one shows up.