Six Points for your Marketing Plan
Following up on Home Selling 101, I recently stumbled across this article from CNN’s Money website. What strikes me as amusing is that it was written in September 2003. Hmm, if price, location and condition were factors effecting a home’s length of time on market then, imagine just how much more important they are now!
My Home is Sticky. Now What?
While I always recommend working with a licensed real estate agent every day of the week and twice on Sundays, there are some folks who would rather sell their home unrepresented. Regardless of your choice, make sure you have a marketing plan.
Yes, a marketing plan.
It is no longer enough to simply put a sign in the lawn or signatures on a listing agreement. Those days have passed us by for the time being. Until we return to the glory days of roses and Porsches, it is necessary to have a plan of attack.
Mindset: My House = Inventory
While it is somewhat cold, emotionally, as a seller you need to begin to view your home as though it is a can of soup on the shelf with 65 other cans of soup. Yes, you and your family have created memories in your domicile and you should cherish every one of those memories. Prospective buyers are only concerned with making their memories in your home, not the ones already created. So, just like in Home Selling 101, you need to place yourself in the buyer’s shoes.
For those sellers that are utilizing the services of a real estate agent, the following six (6) marketing points should be a part of the marketing plan for your home. At the least, these six (6) steps should be laid out in a manner that you can reference at any point through the marketing and sales process. If it is not written down and clear what the agent is going to do on your behalf to market your home, it is a fair bet that they will likely be “winging it” with the marketing of your largest investment.
- Multi-List System Access: Your home should be listed in the local Multi-List System. Ask your agent in which local MLS your home will be listed.
- Internet Presence: Your home should be easily accessible to today’s buyers. Realtor.com estimates that nearly 80% of all buyers utilize the Internet at some point for their home search. Does your agent and/or broker have an easily navigable web presence? Do their listings get fed out to other real estate related websites (i.e. Realtor.com, Google Base, Wall Street Journal, MSN, etc.)?
- Reach the Area Buyers: If the buyers for homes in your community tend to come from another community, how is your agent reaching them? Does your agent know where buyers for your area come from?
- Out of Town Buyers: If you are from the Ann Arbor area, you know that there are more than a few folks coming into town for a job. Does your agent’s broker have national exposure through relocation companies? Does the systems analyst coming to work for Google know about your home before they leave their hometown?
- Priced Correctly: That’s right – The pricing of your home is as important to your marketing efforts as where you are advertising. If you are in all the right places but overpriced you are broadcasting your future disappointment. Plus, buyers will be convinced that you are not serious about selling.
- Sparkle, Sparkle, Sparkle: Continue to make your home shine! After the pictures for the virtual tour have been taken, continue to keep up the house cleaning. Nothing is more disappointing than viewing a wonderful virtual tour and then walking through the same house with dusty and dirt all around.