Comprehensive Marketing When Selling a Home
When you are selling your home you’ll want to hire a real estate agent that has a comprehensive marketing program. Exposing your home to every possible prospective buyer is critical. Many real estate agents have a marketing presentation that they do for their prospective clients. Ask the agents that you are interviewing or the agent you hire to email you or give you a copy of their marketing program in writing.
The Local Multiple Listing System
Most real estate agents belong to their local multiple listing system (MLS.) It’s a good idea to ask your agent to be sure. Having your listing in the local MLS is crucial. Some multiple listing systems have tens of thousands of real estate agent members. It’s not very common for your real estate agent to also have the buyer for your home. Most of the time another agent from another real estate company has the buyer for your home. When your listing is in the MLS all of the agent members have access to it. They can show your listing to their buyers and schedule an appointment to show them your home.
Professional Quality Listing Photos
Having professional-quality photos of your house is extremely important. These photos will go in the MLS and online where over 90% of buyers will see your home for the first time. Ask your real estate agent if they hire a real estate photography company to take the listing photos or if they take the photos themselves. If your agent takes the photos herself and has a professional camera and a wide lens, the photos should be of good quality. Some agents get training and know the best camera settings for real estate photos.
A Yard Sign
It’s important to have a for sale sign in your yard. You never know if there’s a neighbor who has a family member or friend interested in moving to your subdivision or neighborhood. Also, some buyers will drive around areas that they are interested in to see if there are any for sale signs. Sometimes people drive around looking for open houses, as well. If they see your for sale sign and like the looks of your house from the outside, they can call your agent from the phone number on the sign or give their agent the address to get more information about your house.
Flyers and Brochures
Many real estate brokers have a flyer or brochure created with photos of your home and highlights of your home on it. It’s wise to have these flyers or brochures in your house for buyers and their agents to pick up during showings. When buyers are looking at houses they might see quite a few if they spend the day with their agent looking. Having a brochure with photos on it for them to take will remind them of your home. Seeing the photos again might get them excited about your home. Some agents also have a brochure box attached to the sign in the yard so people driving or walking by can take a flyer.
The internet is the number one and most important place to market and expose your listing to potential buyers. Well over 90% of buyers look on the internet for homes before they go out and see them in person with their agent. Some of the top real estate websites are Realtor.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com, and Homes.com. Although it is not so widely known that in some areas, Zillow is not as accurate as a local real estate agents website, because of the lack of MLS access.
Quite a few real estate websites will upload your listing from the MLS so your house will be on many websites. It’s best to have this maximum internet exposure. Some websites will just have the front photo of your home on them. Some will have many photos on them, which is even better.
Some real estate agents host one or a few open houses for their listings. Some don’t host them at all. A small percentage of home sales comes from open houses. However, it is still one way that the buyer for your home could come walking through your door. Many times nosey neighbors will come through your open house to see what it looks like compared to theirs. This is especially true if they are thinking of selling their house or if they currently have it listed.
Some real estate agents host a broker tour, especially when the house is new to the market. They can advertise this in their MLS and send out emails to other agents in their office and in the area. Sometimes they provide and serve a catered lunch and sometimes they don’t serve any food. If your agent has a broker tour as part of their marketing program, talk to her about the type of broker tour you are most comfortable with.
Another marketing idea is postcards. Your broker can create postcards to send to your neighborhood announcing the new listing. She may also send postcards out to other neighborhoods or areas that might have a buyer for your home. For example, some agents send postcards to apartment complex tenants if their listing is a good fit for a first time homebuyer. Or they may send postcards to homes in a subdivision that has homes in the $200,000-$300,000 range if their listing is in a $400,000 and up neighborhood. Your home may appeal to someone wanting to move up to a larger and higher-priced home.
Email Drip Campaigns
Email drip campaigns are popular nowadays. Your real estate agent can send your listing to other agents, other real estate offices, attorneys, inspectors, plumbers, electricians, lenders and other people in a real estate related field. You never know who might know someone on the market to buy a home like yours.
Print advertising is another way to advertise your listing. It’s not as popular nowadays since the internet has taken over. However, you never know who is going to pick up a real estate book and browse through it. Print advertising may be more effective for houses that fall in a specific category such as farms, ranches, beach homes, and mountain homes.
Your real estate agent should have a system in place for following up with agents who show your home. Some agents pay a showing company for the service of taking care of scheduling appointments and follow-up for them. It’s important to know what buyers are saying about your home. It also gives your agent another reason to get your listing in front of the agents that have shown it. It’s a good idea to remind them about your home. There may be a price drop, or a new upgrade in your home that is worth telling the agents about. This is an important piece of the marketing program.
It’s important to talk to your real estate agent about their marketing program. Some of the aforementioned marketing ideas may not be included in a real estate agent’s marketing portfolio. It doesn’t hurt to ask them to include something they don’t automatically offer if there is something specifically important to you. Your real estate agent should do everything possible to sell your home for the most money, in the least amount of time, and with the least amount of stress to you.