Selling your home ushers in a new era of unease and anxiety for homeowners. From the moment you decide to sell your house, everything changes. Your house becomes just that—a house. It doesn’t seem like your home any more. You’ve taken down the pictures, given your home some updated curb appeal, decluttered the rooms, painted everything in a neutral color and removed items that revealed your personal taste in décor…all in the name of more quickly selling your home. But what is your realtor doing?
There is no better marketing tool than to properly assess the value of your property. As we emerge from a long buyer’s market, there’s no need to initially lowball the price of your home in order to sell it quickly. A good Realtor will assess the value of your home based on its location, a property search, proximity to good schools, condition, square footage, amenities (pool, detached garage, storage shed, etc.) and a comparison with similar nearby properties (comps). If done properly, this crucial function will determine whether your property languishes without interest or sells at a price that leaves your wallet a little lighter.
Pictures worth a thousand words…
Most, if not all, realty searches conducted by potential buyers occur on-line. Therefore, it’s CRITICAL that your Realtor gives your home a superb virtual presence. This might even extend to hiring a professional photographer to best capture the rooms, yard and the yard at the best times with the best lighting.
The taking of photos should inspire the homeowner to ensure they’ve maximized their curb appeal and given each room (at a minimum) a thorough cleaning/decluttering. Nothing turns off a potential buyer like a cluttered house with lousy pictures—especially since they’re on-line and likely looking for reasons to move onto the next property.
A good Realtor will ensure that your property is broadly marketed and listed on just about every possible social media outlet (MLS, Realtor.com, Zillow, even Facebook). It will naturally be listed on the Realtor’s website as well. To a lesser extent, newspaper advertisements can work, but if your agent chooses not to advertise in the local paper, that almost seems fiscally prudent. What you want from your agent is to cast the selling net for your house far and wide…
Open houses are also a common way for agents to market your house to the world and involves a time when your agent opens your house on a Sunday afternoon to anyone who wants to look at the house—potential buyer or not. With the rise of on-line postings (and pictures), this method of marketing slowly walks towards the same fate of dinosaurs.
Good communication also involves establishing a dialog between the two of you. Feedback from any/all potential buyers is critical for you to consider as your home stays on the market. Make sure your Realtor keeps in touch with you at least weekly—even if there was no activity on your house (which could signal that it’s time for some action to increase activity). Realtors who just contact you when there’s an offer just aren’t worth your time.