Selling Step 4: Market Your Home
Marketing a home requires a specialized approach because each home is unique, the marketplace is always in flux, interest rates frequently change and new buyers search for homes each day.
In such a dynamic marketplace, you can get best sales results by working with a REALTOR® who can craft marketing plans tailored for individual homes, market conditions and buyers. Experienced REALTORS® base their marketing efforts on extensive training, what has proven successful in previous transactions and ongoing research into industry best practices.
How REALTORS® Can Help You Market Your Home
Selling can entail a variety of marketing strategies. REALTORS® can assist in marketing your home to potential buyers in several ways:
Preparation: Before being placed on the market, homes must be in “show” condition. REALTORS® can explain what repairs and upgrades are required and that are most likely to produce the best results and give the best return on investment.
Pricing: REALTORS® do more than price homes for sale, they also construct sale terms designed to hasten the selling process. It may be, for example, that a home priced at $150,000 with a 2 percent seller credit to the buyer at closing will be far more attractive to purchasers than a home priced at $147,000. Why? That 2 percent credit is worth $3,000 to the purchaser at closing – the time when buyers are most likely strapped for cash.
Marketing: REALTORS® will execute strategies and programs to get the home sold. Typically this includes placement on the local MLS and real estate Web sites, as well as related marketing, advertising and networking. Open houses, office tours, agent access to the home via the use of a lock box and networking with both local and out-of-town agents are also common.
Much of an agent’s work will be quiet and unseen – yet important. The telephone calls, the work with contacts, the follow-ups with open-house visitors, conversations with ad respondents, the Web postings and other outreach efforts are all part of the process required to sell homes.
There are no universal marketing standards for real estate because marketplaces are localized. For instance, open houses may be common in some communities but rarely used in others.
A REALTOR® holding an open house typically advertises that the home will be open for a given period (e.g., 2-5 p.m. on Sunday). During the open period, the REALTOR® hosts the home while the owners leave for a few hours so that buyers will feel comfortable having a good look around the property and asking questions.
The REALTOR® will provide literature, maintain a visitor log and answer questions. By interacting with visitors, the REALTOR® will seek feedback regarding the home and opportunities to follow up with prospective purchasers.
Marketing Your Home on the Internet
Your REALTOR® should advertise your home online. The Internet is a vital marketing tool for home sellers and has two important roles in the real estate selling process.
First, it is a “place” to view real estate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and all from the comfort of home or office. There are many real estate sites, including individual agent sites, real estate franchise and brokerage sites, and also industry sites.
Second, and equally as important, the Internet offers immediate communication via e-mail and instant messaging and gives REALTORS® and consumers more opportunities to keep in touch.
Marketing your home works best using a combination of marketing strategies, knowing the local market conditions and having contact with buyers and other agents. Working with an experienced REALTOR® gives you valuable expertise in all areas related to marketing your home to buyers.