When selling a home (or anything else for that matter), the marketing effort must be coordinated on all fronts. It also must be superior to the competition. This is especially true in a buyers’ market where the homes sitting on the market seemingly outnumber the potential home buyers. In such an environment, you must lift your home out from this crowd and highlight it in the best way possible. You must out-think the competition.
So, the market is off by 50 per cent. So what. It’s still four times larger than it was in 1982. The key is to get your property placed into the 50 per cent which sells now.
All good marketing efforts begin life as a sound, basic plan and then evolves to fit the particular property and situation. Cut from whole cloth and then tailor-made, such a plan will incorporate innovative new ideas and “rearrange” old ones.
Here then, are a few of these ideas:
1. Select a Quality Realtor: Based on my travels around the world and as president of both Royal LePage and NRS National real estate companies, I believe British Columbia and Alberta are home to some of the most qualified, professional realtors in North America today. But there are also some who are little more than “order takers” who literally can’t properly write out a contract, much less have the hard-won knowledge needed to position your home in the most appropriate and effective way for your particular market. So how do you find such an experienced, market aggressive realtor?
Ask around. Check with friends or trusted associates and get some names. Experienced names. When selling in today’s market, you need to be in the hands of a practicing “doctor” and not someone eager to practice on you.
Focus in the three best referrals, ask each of these realtors to come out, have them put together a marketing evaluation and then give you his/her specific action plan as to what he/she will do to sell your home. Make sure it’s in writing. (If the realtor is “too busy” to physically come and view your home…well, you’ve just eliminated one name from your list.) Remember: realtors come in a couple of basic flavors. While there are always exceptions, in general a “low-key” yet thorough realtor is best when it comes to helping you buy a home; his or her pragmatic knowledge will help keep your feet firmly on the ground. When selling a home however, look for a high-energy, dynamic realtor whose enthusiasm might be “infectious” enough to enthuse a potential buyer.
The market evaluation should compare your home with at least three currently active competitive listings, three recent competitive sales and three competitive and now inactive listings which didn’t sell. Drive over and check out these benchmark properties yourself to ensure the realtor has put your home in the right “ballpark”. If you disagree, find out the reasoning as to why the realtor has so placed your home. The reasons could be good ones indeed. (Or vice versa.)
Once you’ve vetted all three choices, go with the realtor whose combination of experience, proven performance and action-plan for your home is the most impressive. But be careful not to confuse impressive with unattainable.
Ensure your home is listed on the Multiple Listing Service. The more exposure, the better.
List your home with the chosen realtor for 60 days. If the realtor suggests you list with him or her for a longer period, tell him or her you will renew if, in your opinion, all the realtor’s written promises have meanwhile been adhered to and met all the previously agreed upon elements of the action plan. If not, tough luck. Find another realtor.
Underline to the realtor that you wish to be kept informed of the sales progress at least once a week during the entire listing period. Every time the home is shown to prospective buyers, ensure the realtor informs you in advance and also gives you a feedback as to the viewer’s reaction to the home. On the other hand, don’t overdo it. Be courteous and be careful not to nag the realtor. When dealing with a professional, be professional.
If the realtor has failed to keep his or her promises during the listing period, cancel the listing.
….read the other 20 ways HERE